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I. 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 found guilty of driving under the influence of a drug under VC 23152(e), the prosecution must show that you:

  1. Drove a motor vehicle
  2. You were driving as a hired driver for another;


  1. Your blood or breath alcohol was .04% or higher.

II. What does this mean?

A hired driver is any driver that is compensated by another to deliver them to a location. This not only includes your Ride-share applications such as Uber or Lyft but to traditional taxi drivers and limo drivers. So long as they are hired to drive another, they can be found guilty under this section. Since this is a “per se” legal limit, it does not require you to actually be under the influence, it only requires a certain blood alcohol level to be charged here.

This is different than if you are not working as a hired driver, where the legal “per se” limit is set at .08. If you happen to work for a driving company, but are stopped for driving under the influence, the legal limit is still .08%. It only becomes .04% if, at the time of driving, you are driving for a company as a hired driver.

III. Penalties

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.

IV. Common Defenses

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

There are numerous defenses available for a DUI offense. Your attorney can attack the merits of the case, such as arguing that the DUI results for your case were made in error, either because you suffer from some kind of acid reflect or GERD, that could make your levels look higher than they are – and with .04% being the limit here, that can mean the difference between a DUI, and no criminal case. Finding an explanation for the chemical results can go a long way to defending your DUI case, and show there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of a Commercial Driver DUI.

Another common defense would be if the officer that stopped your car had violated your rights under the Fourth Amendment. In California, if there is an incident where police made an illegal or unlawful stop of you, then under PC 1538.5, you can move to suppress any evidence that came after your illegal stop. This means any admissions you made that you consumed any alcoholic beverage or blood test you took, which would, in turn, win you your case. You need an experienced attorney to review your case for this reason, as unlawful stops are an all too common aspect of DUI Law.

V. Call Today

A DUI can have a devastating impact on your life and your future. DUI crimes are heavily prosecuted in California, and the fines, classes, and jail associated with them are always on the higher end than a typical criminal offense. Not every attorney knows how to defend DUI cases, and that is what is needed to either fight the charges or work out a good plea bargain for your case. These are charges that must be heavily defended against. An Uber/Lyft driver will lose their license, their job, and their career if convicted of a DUI. Our Ontario VC 23152(e) DUI by Uber, Lyft, Taxi, or Other Hired Drivers attorney has successfully defended hundreds of DUI crimes throughout the entire Inland Empire. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.

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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