New Bill Effective July 1 Changes the California’s Legal Limit for a DUI Charge for People Operating as Rideshare Drivers

Ridesharing services have been very successful in recent years, and many times these businesses provide a valuable service to the communities they serve. They can also provide a valuable source of income for the drivers with whom the companies contract. As of Jul 1, 2018, the law has changed and the rules are tougher for Uber and Lyft drivers when it comes to providing the service after having had alcohol. It is now much easier to be charged with driving under the influence as a rideshare driver than it is as a regular private driver. Obviously, a DUI conviction can be extremely harmful to you as a rideshare driver so, if you’re facing such an arrest, be sure to act without delay to retain a knowledgeable San Francisco DUI attorney to handle your case.

Some estimates indicate that Uber has more than 100,000 drivers in California and that Lyft’s numbers are similar. Both companies have policies in place to forbid drivers with drunk-driving histories of being hired on as drivers. Uber bars drivers with any DUIs in the last decade. Lyft bars drivers with DUIs on their records for at least seven years.

However, what happens if you are already a Lyft or Uber driver and you drive after having had a drink or two? The answer to that question is different than it used to be. Through June 2018, Uber and Lyft drivers had the same obligations as any non-commercial drivers: driving with a BAC of .08 or more was illegal; below .08 was permissible, California Penal Code Section 23152 now says that, if you have a “passenger for hire” in your vehicle, it is illegal to drive if you BAC is .04 percent or higher. This is an important change as, depending on the driver’s weight and the potency of the beverage, it’s possible that even a single alcoholic drink may give a driver a BAC of .04.

Of course, if you get arrested for suspicion of DUI as a Lyft or Uber driver, the consequences could be severe for you. In addition to the consequences that the legal system may impose on you, your ridesharing service may terminate your contract, which could cause a serious dent to your personal income.

There are many ways to contest your DUI charge. You may be able to challenge the accuracy of the BAC test results, the reliability of the testing device, the manner in which field sobriety tests were performed or many other possible approaches. You may also be able to challenge the validity of the traffic stop that led to your BAC test. The key in all scenarios is to act swiftly to retain legal representation. To tackle your DUI case head-on, contact to the San Francisco DUI defense professionals at Uthman Law Office. Attorney David Uthman has over 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney and almost a decade of experience as a police officer. Put our knowledge of the law and the system to work for you. Call us today at (415) 556-9200 to schedule your FREE initial consultation to get the help you need.

More blog posts:

Military Diversion: One Extra Option Available to Some Veterans Charged with DUI in California, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, June 6, 2018

When Blood Evidence Collected Without a Warrant Should Be Excluded in a California DUI Trial, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, May 30, 2018

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