Google launched self driving cars in 2010 and they are racking up successful accident-free miles every year. Recently a driverless car traveled from California to New York without incident. In states where it is “illegal” to operate a self driving car, a human had to sit in the driver’s seat to “pretend” to be driving the car. One of the big questions people are asking is, “Will self driving cars reduce DUIs?”
Top DUI attorneys are asking if law enforcement can still charge you with DUI even if you are not driving your driverless car? Of course state law has not addressed this legal issue yet, but self driving cars will be a reality faster than we think. Self driving cars are touted as being safer than human driven cars because the human brain cannot look at and react to every change in driving conditions that occur within a 360 degree radius of the car. In other words, we an’t look left, right, forward, and backward simultaneously, but a self driving car has sensors on every side of the vehicle, and can compute all data and change the car’s path and speed almost immediately.
And a self driving car has zero distractions – it does not text and drive, it does not get tired, it does not drink and drive, and it does not experience road rage. That is why lawmakers and concerned citizen groups like MADD embrace the idea of a driverless car. They expect a huge decrease in DUI-related accidents, something that has yet to be proven.
To be seen is how lawmakers will decide if you can be charged with a DUI if you are only a passive occupant of a self driving car. Almost without doubt, these new driverless cars will have ignition interlock devices that will only start the car if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal BAC limit.
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