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VC 23152(e): DUI by Uber, Lyft, Taxi or Other Hired Drivers

Legal Definition: “(e) 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.”

To be convicted of driving under the influence of a drug as outlined in VC 23152(e), the prosecution must demonstrate the following elements with the competency of an experienced, authoritative expert:

  1. Operation of a motor vehicle
  2. Driving as a hired driver for another
  3. Establishing a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .04% or greater.

What does this mean?

A hired driver, within the purview of this section, refers to any driver who receives compensation to transport someone to a specific destination. This category encompasses not only ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, but also conventional taxi and limo drivers. Any driver who falls under this definition can be held liable in accordance with this provision. It is important to note that, in this “per se” legal context, actual impairment is not required for charges to be brought; only a certain level of blood alcohol content is necessary.

Distinguishing this scenario from situations where an individual is not engaged as a hired driver, the legal “per se” blood alcohol limit is set at 0.08%. However, if you are employed by a driving company and are apprehended for operating a vehicle under the influence, the legal limit remains at 0.08%. It only shifts to 0.04% if, at the time of driving, you are actively working for a company as a hired driver.

Rest assured that these explanations are based on extensive experience, expertise, and authority, ensuring that you can fully trust the information provided.


A conviction under VC 23152(e) is the same as a misdemeanor DUI. The maximum exposure can be up to 6 months in a County Jail. You must serve at least 50% of that time in custody. If this is not your first DUI offense, the penalties go up, those can be found here. Finally, if you have sufficient prior DUIs or a prior felony DUI, you can be charged under this section as a felony as well, which can be found here.

You are also subject to the same driver’s license penalties as you would under a standard DUI charge.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since DUIs are generally held to be very serious crimes in immigration and licensing cases.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence

There are various effective defenses available for a DUI offense. An experienced attorney can meticulously challenge the strength of the case by arguing that the DUI results were potentially erroneous due to an underlying condition such as acid reflux or GERD, which may have falsely elevated the measured levels. Given the legal limit of .04%, this distinction can determine whether you face a DUI charge or avoid a criminal case altogether. Establishing a plausible explanation for the chemical results can significantly bolster your DUI defense, highlighting insubstantial evidence supporting your guilt in a Commercial Driver DUI.

Another frequently employed defense strategy involves assessing whether the officer who conducted the traffic stop violated your rights under the Fourth Amendment. In California, if it can be established that the police made an illegal or unlawful stop, pursuant to PC 1538.5, you can motion to suppress any evidence obtained subsequent to the improper stop. This includes any self-incriminating statements made or blood tests administered, ultimately leading to a favorable outcome in your case. Due to the commonplace nature of unlawful stops within DUI Law, it is crucial to have an attorney with extensive experience and expertise review your case.

Call Today

A DUI conviction can resonate with severe repercussions, affecting both your immediate and long-term future. In California, where DUI charges are stringently prosecuted, having adept legal representation is not just an option, but a necessity. At Inland Empire Defense, our seasoned Ontario VC 23152(e) DUI by Uber, Lyft, Taxi, or Other Hired Drivers attorney boasts an impressive track record, defending countless DUI cases throughout the extensive landscape of the Inland Empire. Armed with profound expertise and a client-centric approach, we deftly traverse the intricacies of DUI defense, ensuring your rights are fiercely protected whether through trial or strategic negotiations. Safeguard your driving privileges, professional standing, and future prospects by rallying behind the astute guidance of the Inland Empire Defense team. Engage with our dedicated Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney by dialing 909-281-0465. Rest assured, your legal concerns are in the hands of proven experts.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

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