DUIs in the Era of Self-Driving Cars: What You Should Know

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On January 10, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of transportation, self-driving cars are making headlines. Predictions indicate that by 2040, a significant chunk of vehicles on the road could be cruising autonomously. Sounds futuristic, right? But what about the legal side of things, especially when it comes to DUI charges and these high-tech rides?

Implications of DUI Charges in Self-Driving Cars:

While self-driving cars might seem like a great solution for drinking and driving, the reality is a bit more nuanced. Even if your car is doing the driving, you could still find yourself facing a DUI if you’re pulled over while under the influence. While the law hasn’t quite caught up with these technological advancements, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Operating a Vehicle and Self-Driving Cars:

The DUI laws in all states prohibit drivers from “operating” a car while under the influence. And all states have some definition for what it means to “operate” a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired, with most definitions being pretty straightforward. If the vehicle is in motion and an occupant is doing anything to steer, navigate, accelerate, decelerate, or brake the vehicle, they are considered to be driving it. With self-driving cars, things get a tad complex. Even though the car is doing the heavy lifting, you’re still responsible for keeping an eye on things and taking charge when necessary.

What Oregon Expects:

While there has been no new legislation on the topic as of yet, it’s not lost on the State that there are unique challenges posed by autonomous vehicles. Picture this – you’re inside a self-driving car, feeling a bit buzzed, and the car needs you to take over. Ignoring that call could be dangerous, but then again, taking control might lead to a DUI charge. It’s a complicated situation as it’s all about finding a balance between embracing technology and ensuring everyone’s safety on the road.

In the midst of all these technological advancements, it’s crucial to stay informed about the legal implications. While self-driving cars promise a smoother ride, they also bring new responsibilities. Remember, even if your car is doing the driving, staying vigilant and responsible is key.

Call Reynolds Defense Firm

We are a talented, team-centric firm who believes in delivering exceptional service to the good people who need us. We have over 100 years of combined experience and are experts in our field.  Reynolds Defense Firm – we do one thing, and we do it well. We represent good people facing DUI charges. And while we hope that you never need us, but if you or someone you care about has been arrested for a DUI in Oregon, please call us at (503)836-8329.

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