REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Two California Highway Patrol officers came up with a technique on the spot to stop a speeding Tesla Model S with an allegedly drunken driver asleep behind the wheel on the 101 Freeway in Redwood City on Friday, authorities said.
The encounter took place just before 4:30 a.m. on the southbound freeway near Whipple Avenue, the CHP said in a written statement.
The officers saw the car traveling at about 70 mph and realized the driver appeared to be unconscious, officials said. The driver showed no response when the officers activated their emergency lights and sirens while directly behind the Tesla in an attempt to pull it over.
"Officers then positioned their patrol vehicle in front of the Tesla and began slowing directly in front of the Tesla in hopes the 'driver assist' feature had been activated, and therefore, the Tesla would slow to a stop as the patrol vehicle came to a stop," according to the statement.
They were able to slow the auto-piloted car to a complete stop.
After finally managing to rouse the driver, officers determined he was under the influence of alcohol, CHP officials said. Alexander Samek, 45, of Los Altos was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
"We cannot confirm at this time if the 'driver assist' feature was activated, but considering the vehicle's ability to slow to a stop when Samek was asleep, it appears the 'driver assist' feature may have been active at the time," the statement said.