South Bay News
Santa Clara man convicted of sleep drug DUI
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- A South Bay man has been convicted of driving under the influence of Ambien.
Last year, CHP officers pulled over Santa Clara resident Steven Fernandez for driving dangerously on Highway 101 near Bailey Avenue in Mountain View.
Officers say Fernandez did poorly on the field sobriety test even though they didn't detect any alcohol.
A blood test showed he had the prescription sleep aid Ambien in his system.
Fernandez claimed he was "sleep driving." The prosecutor in the case says the evidence proved otherwise.
"So the jury watched a video taken from the CHP vehicle of the initial interaction with him and for about two hours as to why he was going to the hospital," prosecutor Jing-Lan Lee said. "He said he was going to the hospital and he was able to talk about why he thought a prescription, being under the influence of a prescription, should not constitute the basis for a DUI."
The "sleep driving" defense is increasingly popular for people pulled over after taking Ambien or other sleep medications. And although it's a real thing, experts say it is very rare.
santa clara, mountain view, CHP, drugs, DUI, prescription drug, driving, south bay news
- Teen stowaway remains hospitalized in Hawaii
- SFPD to crack down on violators for pedestrian safety
- Sex offender grabs girl from parents in Berkeley
- 3-alarm fire burns three homes in San Francisco
- Tri-Valley area could see higher drought rates
- Palo Alto hiker rescued in Yosemite after fall
- FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash
- Homicide suspected after body found in San Jose
- Measuring California's impact from affirmative action ban
- Classical music legend Art Barnes is retiring
- 7OYS explains how to get free car inspections
- Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Wednesday
- roundup: Suspected San Jose homicide; Warriors Arena
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos