The woman, whose name has been withheld by police, suffers from bad bouts of sleepwalking and had been prescribed heavy duty sleeping pills by a local physician after she had been caught sleep driving ten months ago.
The woman in question however appears to have taken her medication before going out in her car. A friend of her’s was the first to alert the police, giving them a description of her car and warning them that she may be sleep driving.
The woman’s friend also told local police that she was ‘fond of the beach’.
With that information in mind, the police began to track the woman’s phone and discovered that not only was she driving while asleep but she was also repeatedly texting from her mobile phone.
After five hours or so on the road, the woman appears to have pulled up at an old house she had used to live in near the seaside town of Mount Maunganui, near Auckland. According to the ABC the woman had absolutely no recollection of her sleepy sojourn.
Senior police sergeant Dave Litton said that while everybody was happy that the woman hadn’t hurt herself or anyone else during her sleep drive, the ramifications could have been very severe.
“While her being found safe and well is a relief for everyone involved, the potential for tragedy was huge.”
“We’re urging people suffering medical conditions to be open and honest with their doctors and seek advice on if the medication they are prescribed affects their ability to drive or not.”
Is it worse to be caught driving will texting or driving while asleep?