If you or someone you know has ever taken the sleeping medication Ambien, you are probably aware of the drug’s side effects. Sleepwalking in particular seems to be common, and the act of sleepwalking can sometimes take a comedic turn. Sleep conversations, sleep cooking, sleep gardening, sleep golfing – all while the somnambulist is completely unaware.
For one Boulder, Colorado man, Ambien led to the revocation of his driver’s license. The man was arrested earlier this year after driving under the influence of alcohol and Ambien, and he claims the act was involuntary.
At his first hearing, the man presented evidence showing that the levels of Ambien in his blood were consistent with therapeutic use of the drug as well as expert testimony regarding the drug’s tendency to cause sleepwalking. The case has yet to reach a conclusion.
The Ambien Defense: Does it Work in Colorado?
Under Colorado criminal law, an involuntary act is generally a foolproof defense against criminal charges.
While an Ambien-fueled drunk driving session could be seen as involuntary, given Ambien’s reputation, the act of taking Ambien is not. When the user elects to take Ambien, it is his or her choice, and thus the courts can view it as a voluntary action. The user is expected to understand the drug’s potential side effects; after all, they are written on the box.
That said, the law on matters such as these is constantly evolving. If you have woken up in jail following an Ambien blackout and you are accused of DUI, you should contact a Denver DUI attorney.
DUI Matters – Denver Drunk Driving Lawyers