Advances in technology change the way people perform everyday tasks. For example, self-driving cars can change how people move from place to place. However, police claim that a driver in California was using a self-driving vehicle in a way that is inconsistent with its intent, resulting in the man’s arrest following drunk driving allegations.
The incident happened just after 3:30 a.m. on a day in early December. According to reports, police noticed a driver sleeping while behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle. Police say that though they attempted to attract the man’s attention with the use of sirens and lights for approximately seven miles, they were unsuccessful.
Believing that the vehicle may have been on autopilot, officers reportedly pulled in front of the vehicle and slowed down, allegedly prompting the vehicle to slow and come to a stop in the lane. Reports indicate that police drove the man and the vehicle to a gas station where officers claim that the man failed a field sobriety test. He was arrested.
Allegations of drunk driving are serious; however, the interpretation of a field sobriety test can be subjective. Often, other factors — such as fatigue, illness or shock — can have a negative impact on a person’s performance. As such, a person in California facing criminal charges based on his or her performance on such tests will likely want an experienced criminal defense attorney to examine the details of the case and help determine the most appropriate response, including whether to fight the charges in court or pursue a plea deal.