Like many prescription drugs, arrests for DWI because of prescription Ambien are becoming more and more prevalent in Texas. These cases can be startling to everyone. What is very scary about so many of these cases is that often the people who are arrested for Ambien DWI have no memory whatsoever of getting in the car or driving. Many are arrested wearing their pajamas and sleep clothes. Many people feel embarrassed and don’t know what steps to take. If you have been arrested, or if someone you love has been arrested, you need to talk to an attorney who can listen and provide guidance. You need to consult with a DWI attorney with experience handling these types of cases.
What Should You Do Now?
These cases are complicated. These cases require a criminal defense lawyer to have a unique expertise defending DWI cases. DWI involving prescription drugs are very difficult cases to handle for even seasoned DWI attorneys. Your attorney needs to know how to fight these charges. If you are facing a charge for Ambien DWI, you need a DWI attorney with a specialized skill set in handling these types of cases. DWI that involve prescription drugs, including Ambien are very technical.
Ambien “Sleep Driving”
Ambien DWI charges often involve a phenomenon called “sleep driving.” Sleep driving is when a person gets up from bed while still under the powerful influence of this sleep aid like Ambien, gets into their car, and begins driving. People can be completely shocked to be facing a DWI charge when no alcohol was in play, and they had not had a single alcoholic drink. DWI cases that involve alcohol require specialized knowledge in their own right.
I have heard very alarming stories. One involved a woman getting Ambien prescribed by her doctor, taking it before going to sleep, and the last thing she remembers from that night is getting into bed. Then then next thing she knows is feeling the cuffs around her wrists and the cold cement of a jail floor.
How Can They Prove It? Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
To prevail in these cases, the State of Texas must prove that you are guilty of driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. During my trials, I spend a lot of time and effort helping the jury to understand just how difficult of a burden this is to meet. This is a crucial part of any criminal defense trial—helping the jury understand just how difficult it is to give someone a criminal conviction.
Did You Lose Your Mental or Physical Faculties?
Most if not all Texas drivers are aware that having a 0.08% or more ethanol in your bloodstream is per se above the legal limit. Unlike alcohol, there is no per se limit for Ambien or any other prescription drugs in the State of Texas. So, the prosecution will try to prove that you have lost control of your physical or mental faculties. It is a more difficult task for them. It is so very important that you secure a DWI attorney who will fight skillfully to ensure this becomes a very difficult for them.