New law holds Uber, Lyft drivers to higher BAC standard

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 02, 2018

There are some new laws concerning California roads that just went into effect.

Among them is a tougher DUI standard for California Uber and Lyft drivers. The law went into effect on July 1.
"It’s surprising that it has to be a law when you shouldn’t be drinking at all when you’re driving around all day," said local Uber driver Amber Romine. "As an Uber driver, I see a lot of accidents because we’re on the road so much and a lot of close accidents and to even put yourself where there is extra risk is not okay."

Under the new law, an Uber or Lyft driver must have a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or lower. That’s half of the current legal limit.

"I’ve definitely seen Ubers be pulled over before in San Luis Obispo, which is terrifying when you rely on that for a safe ride," said Alex Zewiski, who uses Uber at least once a week.

Uber released the following statement to KSBY: 
"Uber has a zero tolerance policy for impaired driving and a longstanding commitment to help reduce it in California and across the country. As laid out in our community guidelines, we expect drivers to follow all local laws."

The California Highway Patrol says officers often see the same Uber or Lyft driver multiple times during DUI checkpoints.

"But when they’re actually shuttling multiple fares or passengers and it’s something we highly condone," said CHP Officer Mike Poelking.

With Independence Day around the corner, the CHP will begin its maximum enforcement period on July 3 at 6 p.m. It’ll wrap up at midnight on the 4th of July.

"It shouldn’t be something you have to worry about whether your driver is under the influence of anything, really. You should be able to get in and get safely to where you’re going and that should be it," Romine said.

The California Highway Patrol says that anyone with a commercial driver’s license is already held to the stricter .04 BAC standard.

Another law that just went into effect on July 1 requires that children ages 8 through 15 wear a seat belt on a bus that is equipped with seat belts.