DWI and Automatism


I’ve been glad to see the talk around the blawgosphere lately about the “sleep driving defense.” The two-dollar word for this defense is “automatism.” (I don’t recommend using two-dollar words when talking to people, but they can add some oomph to an argument to a court.)

Here are a couple of documents from a 2005 sleep-driving case that I had. First is a trial brief explaining the law to the judge; second is a requested jury charge, asking for the specific things I thought the jury should be told about the law. (Many thanks to Denton lawyer Richard Gladden, who is farther out on the cutting edge of this issue than anyone I know, and who generously shared his work with me.)

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