Self-driving cars may put a lot of lawyers and judges out a job,simply because the computers driving those cars do not drink or run red lights. Plus, computers have far quicker reflexes than humans. If those benefits come to pass, self-driving cars would significantly curtail felony DUIs, and with it, the need for judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to litigate those charges.
But barriers must be navigated before self-driving cars become commonplace. The main one is cost. The equipment, power and computing specs are north of $100,000 a vehicle, a sum that will need to take a dive before the average Washingtonian could afford it. Other barriers include the public's trust of self-driving cars, determining liability when things go awry and protecting the vehicles from hackers.
Despite those barriers, however, the benefits are significant. For example, according to one study, if 10 percent of cars and trucks were self-driving, it would result in a thousand fewer traffic deaths and nearly $40 billion in savings per year on a national basis. If 90 percent of cars and trucks were self-driving, those numbers would go up to nearly 22,000 lives and almost $450 billion in savings per year.
Until those benefits become a reality, however, many Washingtonians will face felony DUI charges. If so, a DUI conviction can lead to jail time, fines, a suspended driver's license and having to use an ignition interlock system as part of regaining one's license.
These risks are significant, but Washingtonians may reduce them by discussing their case with an experienced DUI attorney, who can identify inaccuracies and mistakes that can undermine or even overturn a DUI charge.
Source: Daily Herald, "Leaving the driving to a computer has big benefits," Oct. 27, 2013