21Nov 2017

Operators of Driverless Cars and DUI

With the anticipation of driverless cars appearing on the streets, states have begun the process of making sure that when they do, they are compliant with all traffic laws. For example, driverless vehicle manufacturers will be providing software updates for their products on a regular basis to make sure they comply with all local traffic laws.

Perhaps more of a conundrum is, what should be done about driverless cars in relation to DUI laws? Should the "operator" (the one in control of the car) be subject to the same DUI laws as operators of standard vehicles? This is an interesting point of debate as, of course, the operator of a driverless car isn't technically driving it at all.

One country, Australia, has already officially weighed in. Australia’s National Transport Commission has put out a report saying that operators of driverless cars should not be subject to prosecution for DUI offenses as they compared a driverless car to riding in a taxi. This decision will most likely apply to only the purely driverless cars, ones without an option for the operator to take manual control of them. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne or anywhere in the State of Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense.