Intoxicated Driver Using Assisted Mode Caught Drunk Driving in China

Do not drink and drive. If you let the car drive itself after drinking, is it still considered drunk driving? To state the conclusion first, it is still considered so in China at this stage.

According to media reports, recently, traffic police set up a checkpoint on Liangjiang Avenue in Chongqing, China. A Li Auto SUV with a temporary license plate passed through the checkpoint at midnight. When the driver rolled down the window, a strong smell of alcohol emanated from the car.

After inquiry and testing, it was found that the driver had consumed beer on that day. The blood test result showed an alcohol content of 139 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, indicating drunk driving. The driver claimed to have called for a designated driver twice that night but canceled the orders due to long waiting times. Remembering that his newly purchased car had an “autopilot” function, the scene described earlier occurred.

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The police officer stated that currently assisted driving still requires the driver’s full attention and involvement throughout the driving process. It relies on manual operations and can not be considered autonomous driving in the true sense.

According to the Criminal Law of China, if a person is intoxicated, starts a vehicle, and causes the vehicle to move, it can be considered as drunk driving. Therefore, even if an automated driving assistance system is used, it would still constitute the crime of dangerous driving.