Sleep Disorder May be Cause in Crash
A Des Moines Police Office, Brandon Singleton, 28 years old, is currently under suspension due to two patrol vehicles crashes that may have resulted from him being asleep at the wheel. He is undergoing diagnosis for a possible sleep disorder according to his lawyer, F. Montgomery Brown. Attorney Brown said that Singleton might be suffering from stress-related disorders or from narcolepsy. He might also have a post-traumatic stress disorder from his service time in Korea last 2004. Singleton’s family believes that diagnosing the problem would clear the matter and that no drugs were involved in the crashes.
A clinical supervisor at Mercy Sleep Center in Clive, Carol Waggoner, explained that narcolepsy is a very rare sleep disorder and that it is most of the time genetically linked. Waggoner said that the disorder might have caused the driver to have fallen asleep while driving. However, narcolepsy still has to be diagnosed before any concrete conclusion should be made.
Singleton was arrested for a misdemeanor. Police found marijuana and methamphetamine inside his patrol car which crashed to a police cruiser. He drove away after his patrol car hit the cruiser. Singleton is also under investigation for another patrol car crash last April 18. A May trial is also scheduled for another incident in 2010. He has been a police officer since 2007. Currently, he is on paid administrative leave. Singleton worked the 9pm to 7am shift. He has denied using drugs while interviewed. The drugs were found in a bag at the back seat of the patrol car. Lawyer Brown explained that Singleton cannot be charged with DUI due to the failure of the police officers to have submit urine or blood tests for verification.
In Iowa, motorists are presumed to agree to chemical testing in exchange for their license and then allowed to drive state roadways. Police officers may cite the permission if there is an evidence or grounds that DUI laws has not been complied. Drivers can take by consent to the chemical testing but their license will have to be taken from them. Atty. Brown mentioned that if there were some grounds that Singleton was driving under the influence then they should have raised explicit consent. Singleton has denied owning the drugs and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Singleton’s attorney also highlighted incidents when he would fall asleep even while doing his reports. Singleton’s family is of the opinion that he suffers from a form of sleep disorder called narcolepsy. Mercy Sleep Clinic tests people with forms of sleep disorder like sleep apnea but only a few have narcolepsy. Sleep apnea is still the most common sleep disorder. People who are deprived of a good night’s sleep like truck drivers often fall asleep on the wheel but it does not have to be narcolepsy.