Va. Man's "Sleep Driving" Defense Rejected

Va. judicial panel upholds conviction

Thursday, Nov 11, 2010  |  Updated 3:15 PM EDT
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Va. Man's "Sleep Driving" Defense Rejected

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A Loudoun County, Va., man has lost a legal battle involving his “sleep driving” defense, The Washington Examiner reported.

Joshua Shortt was in a car accident on Oct. 7, 2008. The Purcellville police officer who went to the scene said Shortt was ”acting strangely, his pupils were dilated and he was unsteady on his feet,” according to the Examiner. A few hours later, lab tests detected Ambien, a prescription sleep aid, in Shortt’s system.
 
He was convicted of DUI, and a three-judge panel in Virginia upheld the conviction.
 
Shortt had argued that he took Ambien voluntarily. But he also contended that he did not know it would cause him to become so intoxicated that he would “sleep drive”.
 
Shortt’s lawyer said he may take the case to the Virginia Supreme Court.

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