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LGBT Friendly Ambien DUI Defense Lawyers

Ambien DUI Lawyers

Are you, or a loved one, facing Ambien DUI charges anywhere in the United States Ambien DUI Lawyersincluding California, New York, Florida, Illinois or Pennsylvania? Is this your first DUI of any sort or a subsequent offense? Do you know what rights you have in a DUI case? Enlisting the help of a skilled and experienced Ambien DUI lawyers is a smart move. Our DUI defense attorneys also represent those facing drugged driving charges for marijuana, cocaine, crack, bath salts, hash, heroin, XTC, Lunesta, Vicodin, Percocet, Norcos, Xanax, Valium, Flexeril, Phenergan, Fioricet and others.

Please contact our team of Ambien DUI lawyers and Lunesta DUI defense lawyers to discuss your case. They offer free consultations to those with pending Ambien DUI charges. Our Zolpidem DUI defense lawyers proudly serve all 50 states, Puerto RIco & Washington DC including Florida,  PennsylvaniaTexas, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, California and Minnesota.

What Is Ambien?

Ambien is the most commonly known form of the sleeping medication Zolpidem. Other common brand names are Ambien, Ambien CR, Intermezzo, Stilnox, Stilnoct, Sublinox, Zonadin, Sanval, Zolsana and Zolfresh. Ambien is a prescription medication commonly prescribed for insomnia and certain brain disorders. Ambien is a short-acting nonbenzodiazepinehypnotic of the imidazopyridine class that potentiates GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, by binding to GABAA receptors at the same location as benzodiazepines. Ambien is fast acting and begins to exert it’s effects within 15 minutes of ingestion. It also has a relatively short half-life of two to three hours meaning that the body metabolizes it quickly and begins to remove it from the system.

If you are facing Ambien DUI charges please contact our Ambien DUI lawyers for a free consult. They will do everything necessary to protect your rights and attempt to have your charges dropped or dismissed.

Is Taking Ambien A Defense To A Charge Of DUI? – This is a complex question turning on many components. At a minimum – it is an explanation or “mitigator” that may help explain why so many individuals drive after taking Ambien and later have no memory of the act – or even the “decision” to drive. If you are facing sleep driving charges our Ambien DUI lawyers serving California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., Arizona and Massachusetts can help you.

Ambien DUI Compared To Lunesta DUI

Many things can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep here and there. But trouble falling asleep consistently is known as insomnia. If insomnia routinely keeps you from getting restful sleep, you should see your doctor. They may recommend changes to your sleeping habits or lifestyle. If those don’t do the trick and your insomnia isn’t caused by an underlying condition, there are medications that can help.

Lunesta and Ambien are two commonly prescribed drugs for short-term use for insomnia. Lunesta is a brand name for eszopiclone. Ambien is a brand name for zolpidem. Both of these medications belong to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. These medications are prescribed to people aged 18 years and older who have trouble sleeping.

Taking one of them may be just what you need to get a good night’s sleep. Learn more about their similarities and differences, as well as how to talk to your doctor if you think one of these drugs may be a good option for you.

How They Work

Ambien and Lunesta decrease brain activity and produce a sense of calm. This can help you fall and stay asleep. Lunesta and Ambien are both intended for short-term use. However, they differ in their strengths and how long they work in your body.

For example, Ambien is available in 5-mg and 10-mg immediate-release oral tablets. It’s also available in 6.25-mg and 12.5-mg extended-release oral tablets, called Ambien CR.

Lunesta, on the other hand, is available in 1-mg, 2-mg, and 3-mg immediate-release oral tablets. It is not available in an extended-release form. However, Lunesta is longer acting. It may be more effective in helping you stay asleep than the immediate-release form of Ambien. That said, the extended-release form of Ambien may help you stay asleep longer.


You may be able to improve your amount, as well as quality of, sleep by:

  • keeping the same bedtime every night
  • avoiding naps
  • limiting caffeine and alcohol

The typical dose of Lunesta is 1 milligram (mg) per day, for both men and women. If that doesn’t work, your doctor will increase it slowly.

The typical dosage of Ambien is higher. For the immediate-release tablets, it’s 5 mg per day for women and 5–10 mg per day for men. The typical dosage of extended-release Ambien is 6.25 mg for women and 6.25–12.5 mg for men. Your doctor may have you try the immediate-release form first and then switch you to the extended-release form if needed.

You take these drugs just before you’re ready to go to bed. It’s important that you don’t take them unless you have time for 7 or 8 hours of sleep. Also, they won’t work well if you eat a heavy or high-fat meal before you take them. So it’s best to take them on an empty stomach.

With either medication, your dosage will be based on your gender, age, and other factors. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose to keep the side effects to a minimum. They can adjust the dosage up or down as needed.

Potential Side Effects

In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement for Ambien. For some people, this drug caused lingering effects the morning after taking it. These effects impaired alertness. Women seem more likely to be affected because their bodies process the drug more slowly.

Common side effects of both drugs are lightheadedness and dizziness. You may also have continued sleepiness during the day. If you feel lightheaded or sleepy, don’t drive or use dangerous machinery.


Neither Lunesta or Ambien should be taken with:

  • antianxiety medications
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic pain relievers
  • allergy medications
  • cough and cold medications that may cause drowsiness
  • sodium oxybate (used to treat muscle weakness and narcolepsy)

Some other substances that can interact with these drugs are detailed in the Healthline articles on eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zolpidem (Ambien).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications that you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements or herbal products. Don’t drink alcohol while using sleeping pills, either.


Both drugs carry the risk of dependency and withdrawal. If you take high doses of either one or use it for more than 10 days, you may develop a physical dependency. You’re at greater risk of developing a dependency if you’ve had substance misuse problems in the past.

Stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal include shakiness, nausea, and vomiting. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, speak to your doctor about reducing your dose a little at a time.

If you take Ambien CR, you shouldn’t drive or engage in activities that require you to be completely alert the day after you take it. You may still have enough of the drug in your body the next day to impair these activities.

Sleep Driving Defined By The FDA

“Sleep driving” driving while not fully awake after the ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product – and later having no memory of the event of driving. Ambien as well as sleeping medications such as Lunesta, Sonata and Rozerem produce “sedative-hypnotic” side effects that cause this condition.

Our network of Ambien DUI lawyers have handled many cases where DUI is charged after my client’s have taken Ambien, Lunesta or other sleeping pill. The pattern is always the same. They take the medication – fall asleep – and at some point – without the knowledge or input of others – actually start sleep-walking… and then “sleep driving.”

Almost all states recognize the “Ambien Defense.” While “sleep driving” would seem to be an “involuntary act” – judges will not specfically instruct on the defense. Taking Ambien is considered a voluntary act – the known side effects include sleep driving and like other medications – driving is prohibited while under the influence of the drug.

The truth is – few read – or listen to the warnings that come with the prescription drug.

If you use Ambien or other “sedative-hypnotic” medication and then you drive – you may be prosecuted for DUID which stands for Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs.

I Thought A Crime Required A Voluntary Act? Isn’t DUID “Ambien Driving” An “Involuntary” Act

The Warning by the manufacturers of sleep driving drugs such as Ambien is found on the clear label on the bottle, and also in a product medication guide that accompanies the prescription.

The argument in a court of law is this – I took the Ambien properly – I went to bed – at some point I awoke and drove my car – I was unaware I was driving – and if aware – I would not have driven.

A crime requires the combination of a voluntary act and the proper mental state. The proposed Ambien defense negates both – in this state of mind – you are neither aware of your actions or acting in a voluntary way.

If a jury accepts the hypothesis – they must acquit because without a voluntary act, there can be no criminal culpability.

Your BAC & Having Other Drugs In System When Facing Ambien DUI Charges

As noted above – the law holds us responsible for the improper use of a prescription drug. Many charged with DUI use Ambien/Lunesta with alcohol or other prescription drugs and ignore the warnings on the packaging. This also happens when having recreational drugs or illegally obtained prescription meds in your system at time of arrest. This makes the defense more difficult for a jury as it impacts the “clean” use of the defense. Among the improper uses of the drug is exceeding the recommended dosage.

Understanding The Ambien Side Effect Of Sleep Driving

The Ambien defense will require the use of an expert retained to explain to the jury the “half asleep and half awake” consequence of taking the drug.

While not impacting everyone – this state of mind will cause certain people to do things that they would not do if they were fully awake.

Side Effects include:


Attempting to drive while asleep

Sleep eating

Memory loss

The So Called “Zombie: Effect Of Ambien “Sleep Driving”

The research has clearly demonstrated that drivers who had Ambien in their blood following after blood tests have exhibited some of the most erratic driving behavior.

How do you explain to a jury why an otherwise excellent driver drives the wrong way on a one way – crashing their vehicle into seemingly easily avoidable parked car? Why do individuals under these circumstances have memory loss and amnesia? Why is the drug so prevalent in the United States and yet there is so public knowledge of these well known side effects?

Those arrested and prosecuted for the DUID crime of driving under the influence of Ambien – tell me of waking up in jail with no idea how they got there. The investigating police officers tell me of individuals found driving in their pajamas or other sleep wear and who appear to these officers as dazed – confused – unruly.

The Ambien sleep driver appears intoxicated – just as we all do when we are awoken in the middle of REM sleep. They may respond to some basic questions – but are vague and unnatural in their responses.

Here is what the FDA currently (2013) says about sedative-hypnotic drugs such as Ambien:

Sleep Disorder (Sedative-Hypnotic) Drug Information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that all manufacturers of sedative-hypnotic drug products, a class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep, strengthen their product labeling to include stronger language concerning potential risks. These risks include severe allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, which may include sleep-driving.

Sleep driving is defined as driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event.

Medications Commonly Involved In Drugged Driving

There are dozens of medications used to induce sleep. Some have other medicinal uses such as pain relief and treatment of Epileptic seizures. All can be the culprit in DUI charges across the country. Some common ones are:

Ambien, Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate) oral med taken for insomnia

Butisol sodium barbituate used to induce relaxation & sleep

Carbrital (pentobarbital and carbromal) anti-epileptic medication used for seizures & nerve pain

Dalmane (flurazepam hydrochloride) benzodiazepine used for insomnia

Doral (quazepam) benzodiazepine used for treating insomnia

Edluar this is a GABA agonist used for insomnia

Halcion (triazolam) benzodiazepine used for insomnia

Intermezzo (zolpidem) different brand name of Ambien

Lunesta (eszopiclone) oral variation of Ambien/zolpidem

Placidyl (ethchlorvynol) GABA-ergic sedative & hypnotic used for sleep

Prosom (estazolam) this medicine is a benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia

Restoril (temazepam) this medication is an oral benzopiazepine

Rozerem (ramelteon) oral insomnia medication & melatonin receptor agonist 

Seconal (secobarbital sodium) barbituate used for insomnia, sedation & Epilepsy

Sonata (zaleplon) GABA agonist used for insomnia; taken orally

Zolpimist (Zolpidem) oral spray version of Ambien

Here Are The Warnings Posted Inside The Product You Purchase At The Pharmacy

Memory impairment: Controlled studies in adults utilizing objective measures of memory yielded no consistent evidence of next-day memory impairment following the administration of Ambien. However, in one study involving zolpidem doses of 10 and 20 mg, there was a significant decrease in next-morning recall of information presented to subjects during peak drug effect (90 minutes post-dose), i.e., these subjects experienced anterograde amnesia. There was also subjective evidence from adverse event data for anterograde amnesia occurring in association with the administration of Ambien, predominantly at doses above 10 mg.

There have been reports of people getting out of bed after taking a sedative-hypnotic and driving their cars while not fully awake, often with no memory of the event. If a patient experiences such an episode, it should be reported to his or her doctor immediately, since “sleep-driving” can be dangerous. This behavior is more likely to occur when Ambien is taken with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants.

Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with “sleep-driving”, patients usually do not remember these events.

In addition, patients should be advised to report all concomitant medications to the prescriber. Patients should be instructed to report events such as “sleep-driving” and other complex behaviors immediately to the prescriber.

Behavior Changes, Abnormal Cognitive Function & Ambien

A variety of abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported to occur in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics. Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), similar to effects produced by alcohol and other CNS depressants. Visual and auditory hallucinations have been reported as well as behavioral changes such as bizarre behavior, agitation and depersonalization. In controlled trials, < 1% of adults with insomnia who received zolpidem reported hallucinations. In a clinical trial, 7.4% of pediatric patients with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who received zolpidem reported hallucinigenic effect.

Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event) have been reported with sedative-hypnotics, including zolpidem. These events can occur in sedative-hypnotic-naive as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as “sleep-driving” may occur with Ambien alone at therapeutic doses, the use of alcohol and other CNS depressants with Ambien appears to increase the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of Ambien at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose.

Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of Ambien should be strongly considered for patients who report a “sleep-driving” episode. Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with “sleep-driving”, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia, anxiety and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may occur unpredictably.

In primarily depressed patients, worsening of depression, including suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), has been reported in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics.

It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.

Unconsciousness, Sleepwalking & Sleep Driving DUI To Ambien & Lunesta

An involuntary act in many states is generally a complete defense to a crime. Having said that the actual act of taking Ambien is voluntary. Sleep driving and other bizarre behaviors such as sleep walking, sleep cooking, etc., are responses to the drug. In court these behaviors may be argued to be involuntary. Therefore the law in this area is still evolving as Ambien, Lunesta and other such medications have been on the mark for less that 2 decades.

State Laws On Involuntary Intoxication

It is an affirmative defense to the crime of_______________________ (insert name of crime) that the defendant lacked the capacity to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law because of intoxication that was not self-induced.

This instruction can only be used when there has been evidence introduced that the intoxication was not self-induced. In all other situations concerning intoxication, the previous instruction is the only instruction applicable.

If sleepwalking occurs without fault, it may be a defense. The questions that must be asked are:

Q – 1 Was the Ambien taken by prescription?

Q-2 Was the Ambien mixed with alcohol, an illegal drug, or another drug prohibited by Ambien’s warning label?

Q-3 Did the accused have prior experience with Ambien sleepwalking – so that ignorance of the side effects (which would put him or her on notice of the risks of sleepwalking) can no longer be asserted?

How Our Ambien DUI Lawyers Can Help You

Our network of Ambien DUI lawyers, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. They can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue. In addition, they are skilled Las Vegas Nevada Ambien DUI lawyers who will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.

No matter what state you were arrested in our team of Ambien DUI lawyers can help as they serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. including: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.