Limo drivers, Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, taxi drivers, and other ride-share service providers may be at an increased risk of being charged with a criminal offense if they are found to be operating a vehicle with blood alcohol concentration levels of 0.04% or more while transporting a passenger.
If you have been charged on their California vehicle code section 23152(e): driving an Uber, Lyft, taxi, or limo with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% or higher, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can help you avoid the fallout of a conviction. Contact a California DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group for a confidential case evaluation today and learn more about potential defenses you could use to challenge the allegations against you.
When You Can Be Charged Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e)
According to California Vehicle Code 23152(e), limo, taxi, and other types of rideshare drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle if their BAC levels are at .04% or more while they are actively transporting or carrying a passenger in their vehicle.
This makes the legal limit for rideshare drivers the same as it is for anyone holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in the state of California. Although California law sets the legal BAC limit at .08% for the vast majority of drivers who are 21 years of age or older, since CDL holders and rideshare drivers have an increased obligation to the safety of other passengers and motorists on the roadway, their legal limit has been set significantly lower.
If a rideshare driver is not currently transporting a passenger when they are stopped by police, if they have a BAC level of .04%, they will not face criminal charges for drunk driving. Instead, the legal limit for all drivers of .08% will apply.
Consequences of a CA VC Section 23152(e) Conviction
The criminal penalties you will face if you are found guilty of an offense under CA VC Section 23152(e) can vary widely depending on how many times you have previously been charged with or convicted of a DUI in the state of California.
The consequences of a conviction under this law, based on your prior offenses, include:
- First offense misdemeanor DUI – Up to six months in county jail and fines as high as $1,000
- Second offense misdemeanor DUI – Up to one year in county jail and fines as high as $1,000
- Third offense misdemeanor DUI – Up to one year in county jail and fines as high as $1,000
- Misdemeanor DUI with an injury – Up to one year in state prison and fines as high as $5,000
- Felony DUI with an injury – Up to 16 years in state prison and fines as high as $5,000
- Felony DUI – Up to one year in state prison and fines as high as $1,000
In addition to fines, jail time, or prison time, there are many other penalties you will face if you are found guilty of a DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e). Some of these consequences could include:
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Completion of DUI school
- Community service
- Restricted driver’s licenses
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Job loss
- Immigration or citizenship issues
- Child custody or visitation problems
- Restitution for injury victims
- Damage to your personal and professional reputation
- Loss of professional licenses
Ways to Defend Yourself Against California Vehicle Code §23152(e) Charges
There are multiple ways you may be able to challenge the allegations that have been made against you under CA VC Section 23152(e). First, you can expect your attorney to attempt to work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor.
Here, we may be able to get you enrolled in a pretrial diversion program. In doing so, the charges against you could be reduced or dismissed altogether once you follow the terms of the program. This way, you may be able to protect your career as a rideshare driver.
However, in some instances, we may need to be prepared to move forward with a defense in court. If this is the case, some of the potential defenses that could be used include:
- Demonstrating that you were not carrying a rideshare passenger when you were stopped by police
- Arguing there were lab issues that made your DUI chemical BAC test results invalid
- Explaining how the police failed to follow proper procedures when conducting your traffic stop
- Explaining how law enforcement did not properly administer your DUI chemical tests
Getting your charges reduced to a dry reckless will be preferred if you hope to be able to avoid the harsh penalties of a conviction under California Vehicle Code Section 23152. A dry reckless is essentially a reckless driving offense that does not involve admitting that you were using drugs or alcohol.
Under California Vehicle Code 23103, anyone who is driving on a highway without regard for the safety of others or property can be charged with a dry reckless. You may still face jail time and fines, but there are many advantages to a dry reckless plea agreement.
If you can secure a dry reckless plea agreement, you do not need to worry about facing additional penalties if you are charged with a DUI in the future, license suspension, or being terminated from your career as a rideshare driver.
Meet with a DUI Lawyer to Clear Your Name of the CA VC §23152(e) Charges Against You
A conviction under CA VC §23152(e) could be devastating across every aspect of your life. If you are hoping to protect your future and avoid having your liberties taken from you, make sure to contact an experienced California DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group to discuss potential defenses and play agreements.
Fill out our secured contact form or call our office to schedule your confidential consultation as soon as today.