Thanks Autopilot: Cops stop Tesla whose driver appears asleep and drunk

Police in the Netherlands on Thursday arrested a Tesla driver who had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel while driving down the highway. A Dutch police agency reported the arrest on Instagram.

A 50-year-old man was spotted driving close to the car ahead of him on the A27 road. “When we came alongside, the driver appeared to have fallen asleep,” the police said.

Police signaled for the driver to pull over, but he didn’t seem to notice. Eventually, the officers managed to wake the driver up using a siren, the Instagram post says. Police administered a blood alcohol test and found the driver to be under the influence of alcohol.

“His driving license was collected on the basis of Article 5 of the Road Traffic Act,” the police wrote.

This isn’t the first time authorities have pulled over an apparently sleeping and intoxicated driver in a Tesla. Last November, it took police seven miles to pull over a driver in Palo Alto, Calif. In that case, police had to speed ahead of the vehicle and then slow down to force the vehicle to stop.

In January, police arrested a man whose car was stopped on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. He assured the officers that everything was OK because his car had been “on Autopilot.” That excuse didn’t convince officers, who arrested him and charged him with a DUI.

Correction: The police said that man’s intoxication level was 340ug/l, which I originally wrote was equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.34 percent in the US. However, I’ve deleted this statement because I think it’s probably wrong. The Netherlands has standards for both blood alcohol content and breath alcohol content. While the police didn’t explicitly state which one they measured, the units make me think it’s a breath alcohol figure, which isn’t directly comparable to blood alcohol standards in the US.

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