On April 8, 2016 the former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden was arrested for DUI. This former SEAL, Rob O’Neill, was found asleep behind the wheel of a running motor vehicle. Officers reported that O’Neill failed a number of field sobriety tests and refused to submit to an alcohol breath test.
O’Neill reportedly claims to have taken a prescription medicine to help him sleep. Some accounts say this medication was specifically Ambien. News reports do not specify whether the suspect claimed to have knowingly driven his vehicle after taking the medication, or if he is claiming he drove while unconscious. Ambien is well-known for causing sleepwalking behavior in which a person takes the medication and goes to bed only to wake up some time later having done things they did not intend to do. Likewise, it’s possible that O’Neil drove in this semi-conscious state.
There is some debate in the medicolegal community about whether punishing this arguably involuntary behavior is appropriate or ethical. In most cases, criminal punishment is reserved for behavior that involves a choice to engage in conduct that is forbidden by the law. At least in Texas, DWI (sometimes called DUI in other states) does not require intent or knowledge in order for a person to be found guilty. Appellate cases that have arisen in Texas involving people who have taken prescription sleep aids like Ambien and driven while impaired have been given no excuses under the law for not intending to drive.
O’Neill will likely be represented by the best DUI lawyer in Montana. If the laws there are similar to Texas, then O’Neill will need the best DWI lawyer he can hire. Police apparently do not have any blood sample in order to prosecute the case against him. The absence of a blood test should be a benefit to his defense lawyer.
Call Jim Medley & Associates can help you if you are dealing with DUI charges. Visit our site today!