This Tesla Driver Made the Mistake of Sleeping Behind The Wheel, Now He’s Facing Charges

You’ve heard the stories and you’ve more than likely seen the videos. “Tesla driver sleeps behind the wheel!” While some Tesla owners are able to get away with such a thing, others most certainly do not. And for good reasons. Fortunately, that was the story for Leran Cai, who is now facing charges after making the mistake of sleeping behind the wheel of his Tesla earlier this year.

Front view of Tesla Model S
Front view of a Tesla Model S | Marco Destefanis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla driver found asleep at the wheel

Cai’s troubles began this summer, July 9th to be precise. After receiving a complaint of a car speeding south on Highway 2 near Ponoka, Alberta’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was able to locate the vehicle in question. As it turned out, the 2019 Tesla Model S appeared to be self-driving. According to the RCMP, it was also found to be traveling over 140 km/h, with both of its front seats completely reclined. And to make the situation even worse? Both occupants of the Tesla appeared to be fast asleep.

According to Global News, an RCMP officer then began following the Tesla. In an interview with Global News, RCMP Sgt. Darrin explained that officers then began flashing their lights in an attempt to pull over the Tesla Model S. RCMP added, “The officer was able to obtain radar readings on the vehicle, confirming that it had automatically accelerated up to exactly 150 km/h.” Fortunately, Turnbull says, officers were able to wake Cai from his slumber by hitting the siren and directing him to pull over.

Ultimately, Cai was charged with speeding. He was also issued a 24-hour license suspension. But upon further investigation, Cai was charged with dangerous driving for sleeping behind the wheel of his Tesla.

This case marks a legal first for Canada

Apparently, Tesla drivers getting pulled over for sleeping behind the wheel is more of an American pastime than a Canadian one. In fact, according to Global News, Cai’s case is a legal first for the country. “I don’t know that I’m aware of any other case in Canadian law ever where somebody has been asleep in a self-driving car that has been charged with dangerous driving,” Vancouver criminal lawyer Kyla Lee told Global News.

As for Cai? Court records indicate he had his first court appearance in Ponoka Provincial Court on December 11. According to Global News, Cai’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 29, 2021 in Ponoka. Unfortunately for Cai, however, this isn’t the only ticket he’s earned himself. 

As it turns out, Cai’s driving history in British Columbia includes driving while prohibited in March 2019, which earned him a lesser charge of driving without a driver’s license. It also earned him a $1,000 fine. Cai was also ticketed for violating a driver’s license restriction in January 2020 and was accused of speeding in Monte Creek this past February.


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Please don’t be that Tesla owner

Cai isn’t the first to sleep behind the wheel of a Tesla. In fact, you can head over to YouTube and find a whole slew of folks that have taken a nap while their Tesla keeps moving forward. Let’s be real, though. Doing that isn’t safe. It’s also illegal. So please, just don’t be that Tesla owner that sleeps behind the wheel. It isn’t cool.