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Appeals court rules sleeping behind the wheel is inattentive driving

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

OCONOMOWO, WI (WTAQ) If you fall asleep at the wheel, you're guilty of inattentive driving. 

That's what a state appeals court said Thursday, when it refused to throw out an inattentive driving ticket against Giovanina Ray of Rubicon. 

Authorities said her car veered across the center line, went off the left shoulder, and drove 100 yards into a marsh before stopping.  

Ray was not close to hitting any other vehicles, and she escaped injury. 

Ray claimed that Wisconsin's inattentive driving law required an external factor in not paying attention to the road -- and falling asleep does not qualify. 

The appeals court disagreed. 

Judge JoAnn Kloppenburg said inattentive driving is any activity that diverts from safe driving, and snoozing is an activity.  

She took her case to a Dodge County court and lost. 

The appeals court did not rule her case to be frivolous. 

Ray was 16 at the time of the mishap. 

According to court records, she was returning home around 10 at night after a long day of school and activities at Oconomowoc High School.

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