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Sleeping pills, alcohol lead to driver’s arrest

Date Posted: 2006-12-08

A 41-year-old man has been convicted of dangerous driving on the basis of drinking and taking sleeping pills, and then driving.

Ginowan City Police say the charge was the first ever levied with sleeping pills being the drug. Tsuneo Higa was found guilty of running over a 72-year-old man while driving after drinking and taking sleeping pills.

Higa was driving on Highway 35 in Ginowan City October 31st, when he fell asleep while stopped at a traffic light. Asleep, his car lurched into the intersection, striking the man on a bicycle as he was in the pedestrian crossing. Higa fled the scene following the 4:40pm accident, but was apprehended two hours later.

The victim suffered broken lumbar vertebrae. “I ran away because I was drunk” Higa told police. Tests showed the alcohol level in Higa’s body above legal limits. Police charged him after determining Higa should have known not to drive after drinking, and after taking the sleeping tablets.

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