On Autopilot No Excuse For Driving Tesla At 2X Legal Alcohol Limit, Driver Arrested For DUI


We all knew this was bound to happen sooner or later.

A Tesla driver was arrested for DUI after passing out while driving the electric car. The car eventually halted itself (without driver interaction, this is what happens), blocking the western span of the Bay Bridge.

California Highway Patrol responded to the scene to find the driver slumped over behind the wheel. The driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI after officers unsuccessfully attempted to wake him.

Later it was found that his blood alcohol level was two times the legal limit.

KTVU reports:

“He was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. Meanwhile, his car was towed.”

“CHP is not releasing the man’s name or additional details at this time.”

Moral of the story is claiming Autopilot was under control, which isn’t a full self-driving system, won’t prevent you from getting a DUI if indeed you’re intoxicated while behind the wheel of a Tesla.

Source: KTVU

Categories: Tesla


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61 Comments on "On Autopilot No Excuse For Driving Tesla At 2X Legal Alcohol Limit, Driver Arrested For DUI"

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Yeah this is what happens when you release half-finished products on the market. People get over-confident with them and trust them way more than they should.

This is what happens when you drink twice as much then you should legally and then get behind the wheel regardless of what kind of car you in.

Autopilot has nothing to do with it.

Autopilot did it’s job IMO.

He’s Fortunate that Auto Pilot saved him from a Severe Crash . It could have been a lot Worse!

Ah yes, drunk driving was never an issue until Self Driving was introduced.

Next time he should use the backseats, than he could not be accused of DUI. 😉

Just a few more years bro

Stupid posts like Some Troll Out There’s post is what happens when stupid Serial Anti-Tesla trolls come here to spread FUD.

How stupid do you have to be to post something like that…
Like drunks are not making up excuses all the time to get out of trouble…why you blame the car is too obvious.

Yea, it saves the lives of not only the driver who could have died after passing out in any other vehicle instead of coming to a stop, but also the lives of all the other cars he could have hit.

This is a clear victory for Autopilot over the same drunk driving a non-autopilot car.

Some Troll Out There said:

“Yeah this is what happens when you release half-finished products on the market. People get over-confident with them and trust them way more than they should.”

Gosh yes, this guy totally wouldn’t drive drunk if it wasn’t for the fact that his Tesla car has Autopilot. /sarcasm

But we can be grateful that Autopilot brought his car safely to a stop, rather than crashing… possibly into another car. Well, if “safely” is the right word for blocking traffic on a bridge, which seems more than a bit iffy.

But, did it put on the 4-Way Hazard Flashers, before it slowed down and stopped, like a good (Programmed) driver?

Good idea. Tesla should make that change on their cars tonight.

Yes – flashers should turn on: https://youtu.be/XMdBA8KkQiY

It’s likely that the autopilot saved his life yes but it’s also likely that the autopilot caused him to drive in the first place.

This is what happen to idiots first they get arrested, then they become trolls writing stupid things like “half finished products”

Somewhere Out There demonstrates once again that his brain doesn’t work and his logic is poor.

In the case of this stupid Tesla driver, autopilot may have saved his life.

Can’t we get morons like Somewhere Out There removed from these boards? His drivel clogs things up. Obviously, he has an agenda other than constructive dialogue about electric vehicles. I hate coming across his pointless, non-applicable comments. He doesn’t have to be a Tesla lover, but he falls way off the other end of the spectrum.


While I understand your anger, silencing people who have voice a different opinion is not a good option historically.

I know that dissenting opinions aren’t all that popular here, but the guy out there does have point in that autopilot does embolden people with confidence in it’s ability. In addition there are more than just one person out there eagerly awaiting autonomous vehicles just so they can go out, get hammered and return home safely. No more taxis/uber, no more designated driver, no more sitting around watching your friends drink and no more risk… in theory.

The questions I have is, how many times before this incident did this guy successfully use autopilot to get him home? Had he not passed out, is the system good enough that he would have made it home this time too? Is that a good thing?

Seems like you should recuce your drinking as well.

This is all about a drinking idiot.

If you can say anything at all about the car then that id DID come to a stop and did not crash though it was missing a driver.

Tesla Autopilot kept him, and likely others, from getting killed when he passed out. Why can’t you recognize the good in that SOT or will your Fudster employer not permit you to recognize lifesaving features in a Tesla product? Don’t bother answering, we know already.

Despite all the negative reactions by commenters, I think ‘Someone’ has a point. Until autonomous driving systems achieve FULL autonomy, there will be a temptation for idiot drivers to rely on a partial system to save the day while impaired. This point applies to all automakers – not just Tesla.

On a related note: Even after full autonomy is eventually achieved, one wonders if the laws will allow intoxicated drivers behind the wheel. Should they be allowed when that day comes?

Yeah I’m not surprised I got the whole Tesla shill army after me. However, clearly this dude thought the autopilot would take him home in his drunken state. Yes it might very well have saved his life but it’s also likely that the autopilot function encouraged him to take risks he shouldn’t have.

Alcohol is what makes people in drunken states do things they normally wouldn’t. The affects of alcohol on impairing judgement and decision making is well documented. How can you not understand that, and blame the car?

In your sober state right now (presumably), are does the existence of Autopilot lead you to the conclusion that getting drunk twice the legal limit and driving with autopilot is a good idea?

Sane people all clearly answer no. So the existence of autopilot is clearly NOT the proximate cause of somebody thinking driving a car with autopilot while completely wasted is a good idea. It is only when the alcohol is introduced into the equation (and the impairment that the alcohol causes) that drunken fools suddenly believe that this or any other irrational decision is a good idea.

Sorry you are stuck in the mentality of a drunkard, and can’t even see you are repeating the erroneous thinking of somebody mentally impaired by alcohol.

Story should be autopilot saves a potentially deadly accident!



Had the guy passed out without autopilot on that bridge…

Well, SpaceX does currently return their Capsule to a Splash Down! Just sayin’……!


Unless you know the driver’s thought process before getting behind the wheel, you cannot know if he would have called a cab or a friend INSTEAD of relying on Autopilot to save the day. He obviously felt it was an acceptable alternative – but it clearly is not safe to have a drunk driver behind the wheel with the current Autopilot. The name ‘Autopilot’ implies capability beyond the real capability of the current Tesla system. The name is a marketing gimmick and unfortunately inspires overconfidence. The driver is the villain here, but he may have had a subtle assist in flawed thinking – complements of Tesla.

NAILED IT autopilot prevented a drunk driver from killing people, usually the drunk survives and kills innocent people. GO TESLA GO KEEP AMERICA SAFE FROM DRUNK DRIVERS

This brings up an interesting question… When emergency lights and sirens are blaring behind a Tesla in AutoPilot mode, does it slow down and pull off to the side?

No. That’s one of several differences between Tesla’s current level of semi-autonomous driving system, which is somewhere between Level 2 and Level 3, and a true Level 4/5, fully autonomous driving system.

I haven’t read that even Waymo’s self-driving cars, which are certainly more advanced than what Tesla sells to the public, are capable of responding properly to emergency vehicles’ flashing lights or sirens.

As I’ve asserted in the past, we may need a standardized wireless car-to-car communication network to enable emergency vehicles (police cars, fire trucks, ambulances) to signal to cars ahead of them to pull over and stop, to give them right-of-way.


We may also need some type of device for those manually directing traffic in construction or lane closure type situations. Either that or a standardized set of hand signals the car can understand telling it where to move, park, change lanes, etc.

Should have had an orange!

Yup. I wonder if a beer can would work?

If he had been driving a bolt, that BOLT would have been totalled by now and the driver killed.

So now AP is giving drunks courage. What a blight this half baked product is.

This is what passes for “logic” among Tesla Hater cultists. 🙄

“This is what passes for “logic” among Tesla Hater cultists.”

This particular statement is embarrassing. Someone makes a reasonable point, that suggests Tesla AP just might encourage bad behavior (likely the case in this story) and you bring the ad hominem “Hater” attack in response. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Uncle Leo keeps accusing others of anti-semitism. I admire most of your posts as worthwhile – not this one. Attack the argument please – don’t attack or label the person.

For the record, I am not a Tesla hater. I admire their innovation and am a Model 3 reservation holder.

Funny how you folks completely ignore he role of alcohol in drivers making bad decisions.

Because it must be the car that caused the poor decision making, not the substance that is well known and well documented to impair brain function and to impair decision making.

You guys are simply parroting the logic of the drunk driver to blame the car. You can see how well that went over with the police…

But for some reason, now you are claiming that parroting the logic of a drunkard with impaired decision making abilities is now magically a “Reasonable point”. Nope. It is still just the incoherent logic of a drunkard that led to him getting locked up in jail.

Parroting the logic of a drunkard and trying to blame the car is not making a “reasonable point”.


Come on. Nobody is disputing that the driver is to blame. You are either being intellectually dishonest, or you don’t know how to read and understand the point that was made.

The driver did not blame the car. Your ‘parroting’ comment makes no sense. Go reread the article and the comments.

Let’s ban AP so that drunk drivers can kill people the old fashion way; full speed and head on.

Haha! Yep, due to Tesla drunk driving is now a thing.

Too bad he didn’t pass out in a conventional vehicle, then no one would have been endangered by having the car come to a controlled stop in the lane.

Six Electrics,

“So now AP is giving drunks courage…”

That is very likely what happened in this case.


Alcohol has been giving drunks courage for centuries. It is so well known that they even have a term for it: “liquid courage”.

You share the same mental mistake that the drunk made in trying to blame the car instead of blaming himself. We see how well that worked out for him. But at least the drunk had the excuse that he was plastered and wasn’t thinking straight. What is YOUR excuse for regurgitating the same mental blunder as a drunkard?

He DID NOT blame the car!

LMFAO, what a pos troll you are 6 Fool Cells since you clearly can’t let you shorter bitterness see that the Tesla AP actually SAVED LIVES HERE.

To bad you have no courage or honor.

There goes everyones insurance premiums

Fewer accidents due to autopilot doing a better job when drunks pass out than regular cars will lower insurance rates.

LMAO, that is a BIG NO since AP makes Tesla’s SAFER and since you will never own a Tesla , why does it matter?

He should have been in a Bolt, as GM, by far, according to recent dots put on a piece of graph paper, has the most advanced auto-pilot.

One of the self driving Bolts probably would have gotten him all the way home. We should be happy that autopilot isn’t actually autopilot in this case so that this asshat gets arrested and has to live with the huge issue that is a DUI.

Apart from namecalling the usual people here aren’t addressing an actual issue that those they can’t stand are raising. Do things like autopilot actually encourage such actions? Would this person have been behind the wheel at all if there was no autopilot? Maybe yes, maybe no. On one hand it’s great that no one was hurt and that he got caught but on the other hand he may have taken a cab home. We’ll never know I guess but again good that no one was hurt.

“…the usual people here aren’t addressing an actual issue that those they can’t stand are raising. Do things like autopilot actually encourage such actions?”

No, that’s not an actual issue, it’s just another Tesla Hater cultist fake “issue”.

Reality check: The NHTSA has said that Tesla cars with Autopilot + AutoSteer installed have 41% fewer accidents than those without (see link below).

Arguing that semi-self-driving cars are bad because they encourage irresponsible driving is the same brain-dead argument as asserting that air bags encourage reckless driving because they make you more likely to survive a serious accident.


Who will be the first lucky “Propilot” to get a DUI in the New 2018 Leaf, while claiming that the car was in autonomous mode, and in absolute complete control.

“Occifur, the car was doin’ all da drivin’ n’ stuff!”

Driver = Idiot

GM’s SC would have done the same thing. Unresponsive driver = Stop the car.

Stupid ain’t going away anytime soon.

This is sort of like Pascal’s Wager, where you measure the upside and downsides of each choice:

1) Drunk without autopilot follows the law and does not drive. Result is no accident.

2) Drunk with autopilot follows the law and does not drive. Result is no accident.

3) Drunk without autopilot drives. High chance of accident, high chance of severe injury and death.

4) Drunk with autopilot drives. Lower chance of accident using autopilot, lower chance of severe injury and death due to autopilot intervening (like in this case)

This is a classic example of how Pascal’s Wager shows that drunks having autopilot is superior to drunks not having autopilot.