When people hear the phrase "intoxicated driver," they tend to
picture someone who got drunk or high and then got behind the wheel. They
don't usually think of someone who is simply a victim of his or her
medication. Yet, the reality is that there are actually people out there
who have been charged with driving under the influence (
DUI) because of medication that causes "sleep-driving." This occurs
when a person ends up driving while he or she is partially asleep, with
no memory of the event ever occurring (similar to sleepwalking).
This is not a made-up concept! In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has even issued a public notice that warned about how certain sleep
disorder (sedative-hypnotic) drugs can cause "complex sleep-related
behaviors, which may include sleep-driving." The FDA asked manufacturers
of all drugs falling under the sedative-hypnotic category to start using
labels on their drug products that include more strongly worded warnings
about these possible risks. To see the notice and the drugs that it listed, click
If someone takes a sleep disorder drug that does not provide proper warning
of the possible sleep-driving side effect, that person might not truly
be at fault if he or she ends up getting behind the wheel while asleep
and while under the influence of the drug. Our skilled Lexington DUI attorney,
James R. Snell, Jr., explained how he addresses these types of cases,
which can lead to DUI charges.
"In order to defend a DUI defendant charged with 'sleep-driving,'
we use expert medical testimony to explain our client's symptoms to
the court, as well as educate them on the latest FDA warnings regarding
these drugs," Attorney Snell said.
If your DUI charges are based on a sleep-driving incident caused by a sleep
disorder drug, you should immediately consult with Attorney Snell at the
Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. He can work on your behalf to
gather evidence and show the court how you might have been a victim of
a drug company's negligence.
Contact our firm so we can help you build a strong
criminal defense plan for your DUI case!