Portland is usually a pretty laidback city, but controversy is a-brewing amongst our southern neighbors and for good reason, it seems. Today the Oregon Supreme Court dismissed a drunk driving conviction against a Portland man because, they claim, he “should have been allowed to argue to a jury that he was ‘sleep driving’ and therefore not responsible for driving with a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit,” according to The Oregonian.
The Court is insisting that it cannot be proven that the driver voluntarily got behind the wheel. Now, Oregonians are scared that people are going to use sleep disorders as an excuse for driving while impaired. The lines are blurry and therefore the outcomes can vary greatly from case to case.
What is your take on the Court’s decision? Do you think that they did the right thing in cutting the driver a break, or do you think that a blood alcohol content level is enough of an indication that a driver should not have been behind the wheel? The driver in this particular case had a BAC level far past the legal limit. At a BAC level of .15, a person should certainly not be driving: their critical judgment is lost, they have an impaired perception and comprehension, their sensor-motor coordination is not up to par, their vision is impaired among other things. Yet, this man is free after driving under those conditions.