New California Drunk Driving Law Restricts Uber & Lyft Drivers

uber app

Commencing July 1, 2018, a California DUI law will go into effect making it illegal for drivers with a blood alcohol content level of .04 percent or higher to operate a vehicle that carries a passenger for hire.

“Passenger for hire” is a legal definition meaning “a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.”(46 USCS § 2101).lyft pick up and drop-off zone sign

Existing California drunk driving law already prohibits drivers of commercial vehicles from driving with a blood alcohol level of .04 percent. (For regular drivers, the legal limit is .08 percent.) The DMV notes:

“Commercial drivers caught with a BAC of 0.04% or higher while operating a commercial vehicle can expect the following license suspension periods:

First Offense: 1 year
Second & Subsequent Offenses (in a 10-year period): Permanently

Note that these suspension periods are in addition to any fines, jail time, and DUI programs the CA DMV and court system impose.”

Uber and Lyft drivers will soon be held to the same level of accountability as a commercial truck driver.

Drunk Driving Still a Problem in Sacramento

people electing to take subway instead of uber or lyft

According to California’s Office of Traffic Safety, there were 425 drunk driving accident victims in 2015 (the most recent year of data available). To put that in perspective, Sacramento is the second worst city of similar size for drinking and driving accidents in the state.

Roseville had only 20 DUI injury accidents in 2015, one of the best rates among cities of comparable size.

Why Are There Different Rules for Commercial Drivers?

Those who operate a vehicle for profit have an added responsibility to drive safely. Many more people can be injured in a chartered bus accident than a regular car, for example. And given the enormous size and weight of a big rig, commercial truck accidents can be especially traumatic.

passenger talking to uber driver creates higher possibility for distracted driving

When you hire an Uber or Lyft driver, you are trusting your safety to a stranger. It’s important that the driver be sober and focussed on the road. To that end, it would be a good idea not to engage in any conversation that might distract him or her and lead to a distracted driving accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a commercial truck driving accident, the success of your case depends on working with an attorney who is knowledgable about the ways that commercial injury cases differ from a regular car accident case. It is also important to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable about the newest California DUI laws. Contact our offices for a free consultation.

Recent Blog Posts

  • commercial trucks on highway

    Vicarious Liability Torts in Commercial Truck Accidents

    If a negligent driver causes a commercial truck accident, the trucking company can be burdened with vicarious liability torts. The company can be held liable for the driver’s negligence under the legal tenet known as respondeat superior, a Latin phrase that translates as “let the superior make the response.” This concept transfers the truck driver’s […]

    Read More
  • california fire possibly caused by utility company under strict liability

    3 Fascinating Strict Liability Tort Cases in Sacramento

    Tort liability in personal injury cases is most often based on acts of negligence, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the responsible party is held to the strict liability tort standard, meaning that a finding of negligence or malicious intent is not required. The most common types of strict liability tort cases are based on: Product […]

    Read More
  • student injured at school - parents suing for negligence

    Suing a School for Negligence: What You Need to Know

    A negligence-based lawsuit against a school can have unique complications, depending on the type of institution it is. Overall, teachers, school administrators, and other staff have a “duty of care,” meaning they must take reasonable steps to avoid and prevent circumstances likely to cause personal injury to a student. Some reasons you might want to […]

    Read More
  • Sacramento Office
  • 333 University Avenue, Suite 200
  • Sacramento, CA
  • (916) 756-0772
  • Roseville Office
  • 1544 Eureka Road, Suite 120
  • Roseville, CA
  • (916) 788-1960
  • Oakland Office
  • 1300 Clay St, Suite 600
  • Oakland, CA
  • (510) 962-4610

© 2019 Frank Penney Injury Lawyers, Serving the Areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, Modesto, Stockton & Oakland California