Jesse L. Keeffe

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In recent years, autonomous vehicles (AVs), once the province of science fiction, have become an increasingly common sight on American roads. This new technology raises a host of novel legal questions, one of which is how driving under the influence (DUI) law should apply to AVs. Georgia has authorized the use of AVs, and some lawmakers who voted in favor of that authorization did so because, at least in part, they felt AVs could reduce the number of DUIs in Georgia. This Note argues, however, that Georgia DUI law as written and interpreted by the Georgia courts would apply to hold the operator of any currently existing AV criminally responsible for DUI if they operated the AV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, if authorizing AV use intended to alter the scheme of Georgia DUI law for these vehicles, then amendments to Georgia’s DUI statutes or a new statutory DUI scheme specifically applicable to AVs must be adopted to reflect that intent.

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