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CHP Arrests Driver In Auto-Pilot Vehicle On DUI Charges


On November 30, 2018, CHP officers arrested a Tesla driver in Redwood City for allegedly driving under the influence. CHP notes the driver’s vehicle was in auto-pilot before they pulled him over.

As CBS-5 SF BayArea reports, police officers stationed between Highway 101 S and Whipple Avenue saw a Tesla Model S allegedly speeding in the southbound lane late at night. As CHP units caught up with the Tesla, officers noted the driver was asleep.

To stop the Tesla, one CHP vehicle got in front of the Tesla and gradually slowed down. Since the Tesla was on driver-assist mode, this tactic brought the Tesla to a halt.

After the Los Altos driver woke up, officers claim he failed various field sobriety tests. As of today, this driver is being charged with DUI and speeding.

Autonomous Vehicles & DUI Laws

California has always been one of the first US states to adopt new technologies. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that many autonomous vehicles are being tested all over the Golden State.

There’s currently a great debate in the legal community over whether vehicles with self-driving features are good or bad in instances of DUI. Some argue people with histories of DUI shouldn’t be allowed to operate autonomous vehicles, while others believe these cars could prevent DUI crashes.

As autonomous driving technology advances, how car accident lawyers think about liability in autonomous vehicles is changing. Some legal experts believe only partial blame should be given to DUI drivers who are operating a fully automatic vehicle. DUIs with new technology will occur on various vehicles as well; for example, there was recently the first electric scooter DUI in Los Angeles, and the attorneys at Law Offices of Steers & Associates are already writing about potential Waymo accidents.

As of today, California Vehicle Code §38750 lays out regulations that must be put into place for autonomous vehicle testing programs in the state. You can read more about CA DMV’s self-driving requirements on this official webpage.

Involved In A DUI? Call The Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

Just because you’ve been charged with DUI doesn’t mean you should give up hope. The attorneys working at the Law Firm of Aaron Bortel have years of experience helping people charged with DUI navigate the challenging legal process.

As vehicles with self-driving features become more common, the laws governing DUI will get more complicated. Only lawyers who specialize in California DUI law can help you better understand your legal rights, especially if you were driving an autonomous vehicle.

For a free consultation, never hesitate to contact the Law Firm of Aaron Bortel at (415) 523-7878.

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About the Author

My name is Aaron Bortel. I practice in the state of California. I handle DUI cases exclusively and have been practicing for over 25 years.