Driving a for-hire vehicle has become a prominent “side gig” or regular job in Sonoma County and throughout California. The market for it is significant and people tend to be able to make their own hours and earn extra income. However, it is important to be aware of the different laws for these drivers when compared to those who are not driving for a living. This is especially important when there is an accusation that the driver was under the influence. The laws are comparable to those commercial drivers must follow.
For-hire vehicle drivers and their BAC
As apps grew in popularity by providing users with an immediate ride simply by pushing a button on their smartphone, concerns about driver identity, behavior and safety came to the forefront. That extended to the possibility of drivers who were under the influence. In July 2018, California drivers would be charged with DUI if they registered a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04%. This is the same as for commercial drivers. For regular drivers who are of legal age to consume alcohol, the BAC is 0.08%.
The definition of a for-hire vehicle is based on whether there is a passenger in the vehicle from whom some form of compensation is expected for the ride. This can go directly to the driver, to an operator, an agent or anyone else who has some form of interest in the vehicle. For example, if a person contacts Uber or Lyft via their phone app, then that qualifies. If drivers were tested within three hours after driving and registered 0.04%, they are believed to have been under the influence when they were driving.
After a for-hire driver is arrested for DUI, it is important to have help
Since a DUI arrest and conviction can negatively impact a professional driver’s ability to earn a living, it is imperative to formulate a viable defense against these allegations. Knowing how the law pursues these cases and what the potential consequences are is key. For example, there might have been an issue with the testing device, the investigating officer could have violated protocol or the driver may have a reason why they appeared under the influence but was not. For assistance, it is important to have professional advice immediately to try and reach a positive outcome and avoid the loss of license, income and more.