Former Secretary of Commerce John Bryson Tests Positive for Ambien, Avoids ChargesS

Former Commerce Secretary John Bryson's blood tested positive for Ambien after Bryson was involved in two separate hit and run incidents (including one in which he crashed into the same car twice) in Los Angeles in early June. Prosecutors declined to press charges, stating that the amount of Ambien was consistent with the "low end of therapeutic levels," which makes it impossible for criminologists to prove that Bryson was under the influence.

That said, Ambien would make total sense. Bryson, who resigned because of the controversy on June 21, was found near the second crash site, unconscious and still behind the wheel of his car. And two days before the accidents, he gave the commencement speech at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, where audience members reported that Bryson, "repeated himself and rambled at times. One parent said he mangled words and did not appear to notice."

I'm not saying dude was on a two-day Ambien bender but that does match my limited experience with the drug. Like, once I wrote the following email while on Ambien to friends planning a trip to Atlantic City:

si ==sopm anyheadway> a hotal/. ? trouble typickin, hallucinatin....what s the hotel? hello, i vote for 2 , a hotel room. 1 for quiset hours and the other for frogaoas. do we agree? the taj was a fjun clownny place. my vote.

No recollection of writing that whatsoever. Anyway, Bryson also appears to have suffered some sort of seizure before the crash, so let's hope he just confused his pills and that it's not part of some more serious medical condition. Regardless, the lesson here? Don't drive or write emails on Ambien.

[photo via AP]