Vehicle Code 23152(e): DUI Law For Uber, Lyft, Taxi & Limo Drivers

California Vehicle Code 23152(e) which commenced on July 1st 2018, makes it a crime to drive with .04 or more blood alcohol concentration when a passenger for hire is a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense1.

Below our DUI attorneys explain the defenses, penalties and frequently asked questions about this law.

What Is Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC?

Taxi, limo, or ride-share drivers such as Uber or Lyft drivers, are now subject to arrest for DUI if your BAC is 0.04%2, the same as that for a commercial driver under VC 23152(d)3.

What Does A Prosecutor Need To Prove For a Conviction Of  Vehicle Code § 23152(e) VC?

  1. You were driving a motor vehicle and,
  2. While driving, your BAC was .04 by weight or volume.

What Are The Penalties For VC 23152(e)?

A conviction under vehicle xode section 23152(e) vc, is a misdemeanor for your first, second and third offenses within a 10-year period. A fourth conviction within this time frame can be charged as a felony. Penalties for these convictions typically consist of:

Penalties For 1st Offense Of VC 23152(e)

  • Fine of $390 to $1,000
  • Jail time of up to 6-months but typically 48 hours
  • Or community service in lieu of jail
  • If testing was refused, mandatory 48-hours in jail
  • Probation of 3 to 5 years
  • License suspension of at least 6-months or one year if you refused testing
  • Minimum of 3-months attendance at a drug education class (a minimum of 9-months if testing was refused)
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system for 12-months and up to 3-years

2nd Offense 

  • Mandatory jail time of 96-hours and up to 12-months in jail
  • An additional 96-hours if testing was refused
  • Fine of $390 to $1,000
  • Probation of 3-5 years
  • License suspension of 2-years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system for 12-months 
  • Attendance at drug classes for 18-months to 30-months

3rd Offense

  • Mandatory jail time of 120-days and up to 12-months in jail
  • An additional 10-days in jail if testing was refused
  • Fine of $390 to $1,000
  • 3-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • Probation of 3-5 years
  • Attendance at drug classes for 18-months up to 30-months
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system for 24-months 
  • Designation as a habitual traffic offender

4th Offense (Felony)

  • State prison time of 16-months, 2 or 3 years
  • An additional 18-days in jail for test refusal
  • Fine of $390 to $5000
  • License revocation of 4-years (have to re-apply for a new license)
  • Attendance at drug classes for 18-months to 30-months
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system for 48-months if license is approved
  • Designation as a habitual traffic offender

DUI with Injury (Misdemeanor)

  • Jail time of 5-days to 12-months
  • Fine of $390 to $1,000
  • License suspension of 1-3 years
  • Probation for 3-5 years
  • Attendance at DUI classes for 3, 18 or 30-months

DUI with Injury (Felony)

  • State prison time of 16-months to 10-years with additional consecutive time of 1-6 years depending on number of people injured and severity of injuries
  • Fine of $1,050 to $5000
  • Drug program for 18 to 30-months
  • Possible “strike” on criminal record
  • Restitution to injured parties 

VC 23152(e) Penalty Enhancements

Your penalties will be enhanced or increased for any of conviction if any of the following aggravating circumstances have occurred:

License Suspension & DMV Process

An administrative suspension can occur within 30-days of your arrest regardless of your criminal disposition if you do not contest the suspension.

If you do receive an administrative suspension, which may be identical to whatever the court imposes if you are convicted, you face:

1st Offense License Consequences For VC 23152(e)

2nd Offense

  • 1-year administrative suspension of license
  • Suspension increases to 2-years if convicted in criminal court of DUID
  • An additional year of suspension if you refused a blood or other chemical test
  • Eligible for a restricted license after 90-days and show proof of installation of an ignition interlock system
  • No restricted license if you refused a blood or other chemical test

3rd Offense

  • 1-year suspension of license
  • Suspension is increased to 3-years if convicted in criminal court of DUID
  • An additional 2-years of suspension if you refused a blood or other chemical test
  • Eligible for a restricted license after 18-months and show proof of installation of an ignition interlock system, and completed the first 12-months of a drug program
  • No restricted license if you refused a blood or other chemical test

4th Offense

  • 4-year revocation of license 
  • Habitual traffic offender status for 3-years (severe penalties if caught driving without a license)
  • Not eligible for restricted license

A license revocation differs from a suspension. If suspended, you merely have to reinstate it once all conditions have been met and payment of fees are made. A revocation means that you must take all the steps to apply for a new license as if you never had one. Depending on your record and efforts at rehabilitation, the DMV has the discretion to not approve you for a license.  

Are There Any Consequences For Refusing A Chemical Test For Taxi, Limo Or Rideshare Drivers?

Your refusal to submit to a blood or DUI breath test will result in increased penalties including a longer suspension period without being eligible for a restricted license along with increased jail time and fines

For commercial drivers such as limo drivers who refuse to test, their CDL or commercial driver’s license, will be suspended for one year for a first refusal.

This extends to your driving any kind of motor vehicle.

A second refusal will result in the permanent revocation of your commercial driver’s license4.

VC 23152(e) Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drive for Uber or Lyft with a previous DUI conviction?

Answer: In California, you are not permitted to drive for Uber or Lyft if your prior DUI conviction was within the past 10-years. A DUI remains on your driving record for 10-years, so once it is removed it will not appear on a background check. However, if you have a felony DUI conviction, regardless of how long ago it was, neither company will allow you to drive for them.

Will you lose your ability to drive for Uber if convicted of VC § 23152(e)?

Answer: If convicted of DUI under this vehicle code section, you will lose your ability to drive for Uber or Lyft. This conviction is no different than being convicted of a DUI, which is alcohol-related, or a wet reckless. 

Next Steps If You Need Help

If you have been arrested and would like to learn more about how attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you have been areested under Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC and would like to discuss a pending case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 

Footnotes

  1. California Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC: “California’s DUI for taxi, limo or ride share drivers law” – Commencing July 1, 2018, it shall be unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a motor vehicle when a passenger for hire is a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense. For purposes of this subdivision, “passenger for hire” means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed or expected as a condition of carriage in the vehicle, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vehicle. In a prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving. []
  2. California Vehicle Code § 23152(e) VC. []
  3. Vehicle Code § 23152 (d) VC; AB 2687 []
  4. VC § 15302; 49 CFR 383.51 []

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