DUIs and Missed Opportunities
The consequences of a California DUI conviction are far reaching. Missing out on certain employment opportunities is just one of them. Driving for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft is an easy way to make some extra money, but a DUI conviction can jeopardize your ability to drive for one of these companies for several years to come.
Currently, California regulations require rideshare companies hold stringent standards for their drivers. Drivers must carry sufficient insurance, undergo a criminal background check, and go through a driver-training program. The rideshare industry as a whole has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drug use. Likewise, applicants for rideshare jobs are ineligible if they have had a DUI in the last seven years. This seven-year look back period is significant. Long after your license is reinstated and your insurance rates start to go back down, you still cannot drive for a rideshare service. Rideshare companies are very unlikely to overlook a DUI conviction in the last seven years because the fines for hiring drivers who are ineligible to drive are steep.
And, even if you are eligible to become a rideshare driver, you will face strict standards. Rideshare service laws are constantly becoming more complex, especially when it comes to DUIs. Previously, rideshare drivers faced the same legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold as non-commercial drivers, .08%. The definition of “commercial driver” had not yet been adjusted to include rideshare drivers. Now, however, rideshare drivers are held to the same BAC threshold standard as commercial drivers, which is .04%. A rideshare driver can be charged with a DUI for having a BAC level of .04% or higher, even if that driver does not hold a commercial driver's license (CDL). So, even if you do not need a CDL to become a rideshare driver, you are, in part, treated like a commercial driver is under California law.
Commercial drivers who are charged with a DUI face probation, a court-ordered fine of between $390 and $1,000 (plus penalty assessments), up to a year in a county jail, DUI school, and a license suspension. And, rideshare drivers convicted of a DUI lose their eligibility to drive a rideshare vehicle for seven years. Though rideshare drivers may have previously been classified as non-commercial drivers, California is shining a spotlight on the public responsibility these companies have to ensure their customers are in safe hands. This means stricter hiring policies and higher standards for all drivers.
If you are facing DUI charges, don't go down without a fight. A DUI will cost you more than just your time and money; it can cost you countless missed opportunities to make money down the road. A DUI can do more than just suspend your license; it will remain on your record for years to come, and this can affect every aspect of your life. When facing such consequences, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced California DUI defense attorney about your options, especially if you drive for a rideshare service.
Too many of those facing DUI charges plead guilty because they think it will be too expensive to fight the charges, and even then that they do not have a chance in court. Don't adopt this mentality without first speaking with a knowledgeable attorney about your case. Skilled attorneys can get their client's charges dropped by raising certain defenses, and there may be one that applies to your case. For example, breathalyzer tests are notoriously inaccurate, and test results are successfully challenged in court all the time. If you find an attorney who is highly experienced in California DUI defense, you may have a chance of maintaining your rideshare driver eligibility so you can stay on the road.
If you are in the Visalia, Hanford or Tulare area and are facing DUI charges, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. California DUI defense attorney Christopher Martens will work hard to defend your rights and help you fight your DUI charges. Attorney Martens has handled thousands of cases over a span of ten years of criminal defense practice and can fight hard for your rights in court. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for experienced criminal defense counsel today. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.