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Thursday, August 03, 2006

AMBIEN: The new "Twinkie Defense"

Remember the case in which the accused perpetrator blamed injestion of Twinkies as the reason for the crime in question? "The TWINKIES made me do it!!!!"

There was general outrage as the urban myth of the Twinkie defense began to spread. Urban myth? You betcha. Here's the real story according to Wikipedia and Snopes.com.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief that sugar and preservatives are not a clever trial lawyer's method of getting his client out of hot legal water. But other similarly bizarre excuses are starting to pop up for those who externalize their behavior that rival "The devil made me do it."

The "Ambien defense" is starting to rear its ugly head, thanks, in part, to Rep. Patrick Kennedy's nighttime excursion around Capitol Police barricades in Washington, DC. True to form, the Kennedy's dodged potential legal ramifications for their actions with clever lawyers and the novel notion that "the Ambien made him do it" as an excuse for getting behind the wheel of a 2,000 lb automobile and nearly mowing down a Capitol Police officer.

When used improperly -- as in, with other drugs or alcoholic beverages -- Ambien, as with any pill taken for sleep disorders, could have adverse affects. Hence the labels pasted all over every prescription bottle and warnings from doctors about taking Ambien or any sleeping pill at home and without interference from alcohol or other drugs. Pretty simple stuff, really.

It doesn't stop at the Patrick Kennedy joy-ride, however.

Here's a story about a hideous accident in which a mother loses a limb -- a LIMB -- because this cretin decides to take not one Ambien like a normal human being...but FIVE Ambien. Did he have a prescription? No.

Who takes five sleeping pills of ANY kind unless he has a death wish to begin with?

It is nothing but reckless and abominably stupid to begin with.

To blame the Ambien, though, would be the wrong course of action. Luckily, the court did the right thing here. But just for future reference, an Ambien defense would be akin to suing gun manufacturers because of a fatality caused by a dolt who pulls the trigger.

No one forced this clown to obtain a presciption medicine without a prescription. And no one blew five times the dosage down his throat with a straw. He did it on his own and therefore the reckless, stupid, damn near unforgivable tragedy that followed from his actions are all on him, not the Ambien.

As a mother, I see toddlers in my own household struggle to own up to their actions. Taking responsibility for one's actions is a tough lesson for a toddler to learn and a mother to teach, but more mothers should be worried about that than self-esteem, in my estimation. Kids today seem to be overflowing with self-esteem, but not a heck of a lot of humility, self-control or the ability to take responsiblity for their actions.

No doubt the Ambien defense is a clever trial lawyer's way of earning his exhorbiant hourly fee. But courts across the land should reject this legal course of action as they have the frivilous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and instead, opt for the personal responsibility lesson instead.

Let's hope the Ambien defense goes the way of the Twinkie defense -- a bad idea that was mistakenly tried one time and is nothing more than a legal urban legend. It is a shame that for that mother, now maimed for life because of another's thoughtless, careless actions, that the ramifications will be a daily reality....not an urban legend.

4 Comments:

At 11:07 PM, August 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I weigh over 300 pounds. I took 2 Ambien one evening and several drinks.
The next afternoon, in a favorite bar with my daughter who (fortunately) had driven me there, and I asked her "where are we"? and "nothing looks right". I had only had a couple of beers that afternoon but I was certainly in a daze. So it can happen, but even at that, I did have enough sense to not drive.

 
At 2:04 PM, October 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although some may abuse Ambien, there are many reported cases of people doing bizarre things on this drug while taking it as prescribed without abusing it. Hence the FDA mandating a label change with new warnings as of 3/07. Do not discount the dangers of this drug.

 
At 8:22 PM, February 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The very thing that the ignorant do not understand about Ambien, is that YOU DO NOT MAKE THE DECISION TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL ON AMBIEN!!!! You take the Ambien with nothing else, and wake up in the hospital or jail. Myself, and so many other victims of Ambien have been charged with a DUI or worse, when all we are really guilty of, is taking a perscribed medication. It is far too powerful of medication. If you are a victim of Ambien, please contact me my name is Devin, my phone number is 435-668-7050 and my e-mail address is [email protected] I have a list of people nationwide that are victims of Ambien, myself included, I also have statements of nurses who's patient wondered from the hospital in their pajamas while on Ambien. I am in the process of making a website and forming an organization in the hopes of bringing this injustice to the public eye. You can stay anonymous if you want. If you're opinion is the opposite of mine, that's fine too, you can also contact me, everything I have to say is the truth, so I have no fear of those who want to challenge me. PS I'm not a lawyer and I have no financial incentive to do this. If you contact me, I'll provide my case number to you if you would like to do research. Also, I will gladly be a witness, in court if needed or give a statement to a procecutor, about the truth and dangers of Ambien. And another PS, nowhere on the bottles of Ambien does it say that you might go driving while asleep, that is a rediculous notion for anyone to asert.

 
At 9:04 AM, September 22, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been living with an ambien user for 3 years and until recently have only witnessed minor incidents. My fianceewould get out of bed and put eye liner on the middle of her forehead, cut her hair, put lipstick on face, never did she get dressed and go driving before. On 9\5, after taking Ambien, she got up, dressed, and drove. She received 5 citations, with no recollection how she got there or what she did. Prior to this, she had a clean driving record for more than 45 years. Diminished capacity robs you of the ability to make a decision not to drive.
Comparing this to a Twinkie defense, shows the author has no clue and should not be writting on this subject.

 

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