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Ridesharing While Under the Influence

Rideshare Driving Accident in Los Angeles

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most frequent and common offenses in the United States. Alcohol is one of the substances that physically inhibits common sense and motor skills when drivers are behind the wheel. We hear the expressions “I can handle one drink”, or “One drink won’t hurt,” but the data shows it does. Whether you drank well-beneath your blood alcohol content levels, any ounce can alter your driving skills.

Getting caught with a DUI has consequences for everyone involved in an accident. Short-term – drivers can lose their license, face fines, higher insurance costs, community service and their Uber and Lyft account can get deactivated.  Long-term impacts are more severe, such as jail time. Taking steps to correct the mistake does not erase it from your record. Not only can it impact your future job opportunities, but also permanently terminate your contract with Uber and Lyft. With the help of a DUI rideshare accident lawyer in Los Angeles, you can either build a strong defense if you were liable or file a claim if you were injured due to the carelessness of another driver.

The Impact of DUI Accidents

Drinking and driving endangers everyone on the road and can result in a spike of wrongful deaths across the United States. In California there were nearly 150,000 Uber drives on the road. While it is up to the ride-hailing company to make sure their drivers are adhering to all safety guidelines, that does not mean that a few won’t engage in getting drunk or high. It is an unfortunate situation that can be prevented through educational opportunities and awareness.

In a recent 2020 study issued by The Zebra, there were significant findings regarding DUIs.

  • More than 30% of respondents believe the driver should lose their license temporarily for driving intoxicated.
  • Nearly 30% of respondents expect the driver to lose their license permanently.
  • More than 40% of respondents request for another person to drive them home after one too many drinks.
  • Most respondents are aware of their limits – especially when driving, but not all.

California law mandates rideshare companies enforce a “zero-tolerance” policy for drunk drivers. Before getting on the road to transport riders, they go through a background check for criminal records, DMV vehicle reports, among others. Anyone with a conviction in the past seven years will be denied from securing an independent contract with any ride-hailing provider.

What Makes A Rideshare Accident Different?

Auto accidents involving rideshare vehicles in LA result in varying consequences. Independent contractors use their own vehicles to provide transportation to those that use Uber or Lyft online apps. While the driver does not need a commercial driver’s license, the company he or she works for should provide coverage when getting a passenger to their next destination. There are a lot of variables in an Uber/Lyft accident compared to a crash between two regular vehicles, which offer a more traditional approach when taking legal action. Why? Normally injured persons do not have to take legal action against successful, high profiting companies. If you were involved in an accident, it is best to seek level counsel from an injury lawyer in Los Angeles to pursue financial restitution. Fixing vehicle damage, medical bills, or picking up prescribed medication is costly. Why not have the defendant pay for them?

Driving for A Ride-hailing Company with A DUI on Record

If several years have passed, you can still face the consequences even if you have paid the penalties and have not been in legal trouble since the DUI. In 2021, Uber, for example, is undergoing stricter policies to make it more difficult for drivers to sign up – and deactivating accounts for minimal reasons. Additionally, ride-hailing companies are adapting to stricter, frequent screening processes.

Neither Uber or Lyft hire a person(s) that were convicted for a felony – they are barred from applying. There are a few exceptions, but the following requirements are stated below for both.


  • Have three or less traffic violations in the past three years.
  • No drunk driving offenses in the past 10 years (California residents).
  • No speeding violations for the past three years.


  • Have three or less traffic violations in the past three years.
  • No major violations (driving recklessly) within the past three years.
  • No drunk driving offenses in past 7-10 years (California residents)
  • No driving-based felony convictions in the past several years.

Unlike minor offenses, there are no exceptions for DUI convictions. Depending on the circumstances a lawyer can speak on your behalf to get your charge dropped, over a reasonable amount of time or reduced. If the moment allows, a legal professional can also try to expunge a DUI from your record, allowing you a chance to apply to Uber or Lyft.

The Aftermath of Getting Caught

Keep in mind, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .04% or more. California mandates rideshare companies clearly state their zero-tolerance policy for intoxicated, reckless driving. Similarly, reporting methods should be easily accessible on their site and application for passengers that want to voice their concerns. Uber and Lyft want passengers to file a report immediately and for riders to call 911, especially if injured. The rideshare company will do their part to investigate and suspend the driver for endangerment.

If this is your first offense for driving under the influence, a DUI lawyer in LA can help you prepare the best defense by gathering evidence and conducting legal research to negotiate on your behalf. Sometimes a DUI case does not go to trial, because of concrete evidence against the defendant. In addition to criminal fines, there are normally other costs associated with the conviction. The best way to avoid needing a lawyer for DUIs in Los Angeles, is to practice safe driving practices on the road!

Contact A Trusted Attorney at Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one are injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are well-versed in several practice areas:

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be difficult to choose the right legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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