Butler Law Firm, based in Houston, TX, strives to be always at the forefront of new DWI/DUI laws. In line with this, they have announced that they have recently completed a piece of research on DWI/DUI laws, particularly on how these may apply to autonomous vehicles. The results of the firm's research are now available on their website.
Jim Butler, owner and founder of Butler Law Firm, says: "We questioned whether it was possible at all to get a DWI in an autonomous vehicle, whether someone is in the driver's seat or not. We also wanted to know what type of legal action can be taken if someone is arrested behind the wheel of a self driving autonomous vehicle. Because we specialize in DWI/DUI cases, we felt that it was time to investigate these things."
The Houston DWI lawyer started by taking a realistic look at the technology that is available to people today. "We are not yet at the point where we can go for a few drinks, press a button to get our car back, and be driven home safely," adds Jim Butler. "However, we are getting there and it is important to look at the ethical and legal implications of that possibility."
The firm is not alone in having concerns about the implications of self-driving vehicles on DWI/DUI arrests. The biggest issue the firm came across is that there is no legal definition in Texas with regards to the individual's role in the operation of a vehicle.
"There is no legal definition for operating in the penal code," adds Jim Butler. "Most people will be surprised by this when confronted with it in jury selection, the first place this crucial topic must be broached in a trial. The jury will have to make that decision individually or as a whole to reach a verdict. That leaves it open to interpretation."
Butler Law Firm believes that clearer guidance must be given, and that this should be done as soon as possible. They have called for other lawyers listed on AVVO to join forces in this demand. With self-driving vehicles, such as Tesla, getting closer to being available to the general public, this is an issue that must examined today so that solutions can be reached before the self-driving vehicles finally become a common reality.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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