Ill. Paramedic's 'Involuntarily Drunk' DUI Defense Doesn't Work


 
 

Jon Seidel, Chicago Sun-Times | | Thursday, November 17, 2011


CHICAGO -- Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak wasn't swayed by a Rosemont paramedic's claim that the sleep aid Ambien made him involuntarily drink, drive and cause a crash last year that injured an 18-year-old woman.

She found 43-year-old Thomas Gatz of Shorewood guilty Wednesday of aggravated driving under the influence. His attorney, Peter Petrakis, said the conviction will likely end Gatz's paramedic career.

He said Gatz didn't drink alcohol before going to bed July 27, 2010, but took two Ambien pills. The next thing Gatz remembered, he said, was waking up in a hospital.

Authorities said Gatz drove his 2010 gray Honda Civic in his underwear that night, going east in the westbound lanes of West Jefferson Street in Joliet. He hit a Pontiac and a Toyota in the 3000 block of West Jefferson.

A passenger in the Toyota suffered multiple fractures in her arm and needed surgery.

A doctor testified Gatz could have involuntarily drank the alcohol and gotten behind the wheel of his car after taking his Ambien.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak, Thomas Gatz, sleeping pills, safe ambulance driving, paramedic dui, ambulance crash

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >