JERSEY CITY and NEWARK. We all know that if we’ve had too much to drink that we shouldn’t get behind the wheel. Drunk driving is not only dangerous to the driver choosing to get behind the wheel, but it also poses a risk to other drivers on the road. In the best case scenario, drivers run the risk of facing serious DUI charges that can lead to steep fines, loss of driving privileges, marks on their driving record, and increased insurance fees.
Yet, according to Wired, some drivers might mistakenly believe that their autonomous vehicles work like fully autonomous ones, thinking that they can let their vehicles drive them home if they are drunk. Unfortunately, when drivers make this mistake, they can face DUI charges. Wired reported recently on one man who was stopped by police after passing out behind the wheel of his Tesla. When asked by police what he thought he was doing, he told officers that he was being safe—his car’s autopilot was getting him home.
Let’s be very clear, any drunk driving, even drunk driving performed with an autonomous driving system engaged is subject to prosecution under New Jersey’s DUI laws. Saying that you had autopilot turned on is not a valid defense. If you have been stopped by police and are facing arrest for a DUI, a qualified DUI lawyer like Eric M. Mark Law in Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey can review your case and may be able to help you present a stronger defense. Stronger defenses include challenging the stop in the first place, challenging breathalyzer results, and challenging the legality of the arrest when officers fail to inform individuals of their rights. The Huffington Post reports that finding a good criminal defense lawyer is essential. One of the things a good criminal defense lawyer will look for will be to ensure that your civil rights were not violated during your stop or arrest.
Partially autonomous vehicles remind drivers that the vehicles cannot drive themselves. Car companies are quick to remind drivers that having a car on autopilot is not an adequate defense for drunk driving. Are partially autonomous vehicles lulling drivers into a false sense of security? Some drivers might be tempted to get behind the wheel of these vehicles when they are drunk or tired because the vehicles do seem to operate very well on their own in most cases. However, in instances where things go wrong, drivers remain responsible for their actions. And there have been enough reports where self-driving cars were involved in crashes when people were not paying attention.
Still, everyone makes mistakes. Individuals might get behind the wheel not aware of how inebriated they might be. One of the first faculties drinking affects is judgement. At the end of the day, if you are facing charges for a DUI, the best defense is one mounted by a qualified criminal defense attorney like Eric M. Mark Law in Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey.
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