Autonomous driving technology has the potential to make drunk driving a thing of the past but that’s a long way from happening. One Tesla driver in California found this out the hard way as he was arrested and charged with suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to SF Gate, the California Highway Patrol discovered the man passed out behind the wheel of a Tesla which was stopped on the middle of the Bay Bridge at approximately 5:30 p.m. on January 13th. Once officers managed to awaken the man, he told them the car was on autopilot.
That response didn’t fly with officers who quickly discovered the man was intoxicated. He was promptly arrested and police determined the man had a blood alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit. In a post on Twitter, the California Highway Patrol said the car was eventually towed away and “no it didn’t drive itself to the tow yard.”
There’s no word on whether or not the car was actually in autopilot mode but a Tesla spokesperson told the publication that “autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver.” Ideally, one that’s also sober.
When u pass out behind the wheel on the Bay Bridge with more than 2x legal alcohol BAC limit and are found by a CHP Motor. Driver explained Tesla had been set on autopilot. He was arrested and charged with suspicion of DUI. Car towed (no it didn’t drive itself to the tow yard). pic.twitter.com/4NSRlOBRBL
— CHP San Francisco (@CHPSanFrancisco) January 19, 2018