Oregon Supreme Court held today that a man pulled over for erratic driving and subsequently found to have a BAC of 0.15 - nearly twice the legal limit - was illegally denied an opportunity to present "sleep driving" in his defense. He claims that due to being asleep, he did not voluntarily get behind the wheel and was therefore not responsible for driving with a BAC twice the legal limit.
The new standard outlined in Friday's ruling could open the floodgates for new defenses: Some drivers will surely argue that sleep disorders led them to drive while sleeping, like in the case of the Portland man whose case was reviewed by the supreme court. But others could argue that they were so drunk or high that they lost all ability to make conscious decisions -- and they weren't at fault for driving while under the influence.
In all probabiity, he'll end up being re-tried and permitted to present this defense to a jury, despite having twice been convicted of DUII in the past decade. They may even buy it. Of course, this also opens the door to any number of sleep-related offenses; it's entirely possible - even likely - that there'll be a surge in sleep-rape, sleep-shooting, and other crimes for which the perpetrator cannot possibly be held accountable because he was asleep at the time and therefore not responsible for the acts.
This place gets weirder by the week.