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Can I get a DUI if I take an Ambien in Florida?

Ambien has become a popular prescription drug to help peolpe with anxiety and sleep. But like any other drug, it can have troubling effects on those who take it. One of the regular questions we get is can I get a DUI if I have taken an Ambien?

Under Florida law, one can get a DUI by being under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a chemical substance. Clearly, Ambien is not alcohol, so is it one of the others? Surprisingly, Ambien is neither a conrolled substance or a chemical substance. This means that if one is under the influence of Ambien and drives, one cannot be found guilty of DUI.

This may be either a relief or troubling. It may be a relief if you have been prescribed Ambien. However, it may be troubling because of the stories circulating around Ambien and driving. At Soler & Slack, P.A., we hear many stories about those who take Ambien and drive. One of the more bizarre is an individual who took an Ambien and went to sleep in his home in Sarasota. He woke up in a jail in Polk County under arrest for DUI, not remembering any of what happened.

While the above story is frightening, for the person who took the Ambien and for the other motorists, it is not really that common. Under Florida law, he was not convicted of a DUI because Ambien is not a controlled or chemical substance under Florida law. This, however, may change. Even though one cannot be convicted of DUI, one should always take new medication with caution and avoid driving until one knows how one will be effected by the medication.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI
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