Uber should be your designated driver after a few drinks. You shouldn’t have to worry about your driver being drunk behind the wheel. But what do you do if you suspect they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol? If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk Uber driver, contact us today to discuss your legal options.
Uber Drivers and Drunk Driving Laws
It seems crazy that someone who drives for a living would roll-out on an Uber run after drinking a beer or taking a shot. But Uber drivers are people too and, unfortunately, people drink and take to the roads every day. Bad decisions are a problem everywhere for everyone.
What’s makes the behavior even more unbelievable is that in many states rideshare drivers are under stricter restrictions when it comes to Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). In states like California, Uber drivers are held to the same standard other commercial drivers face. That means if they get tested, they can be considered legally impaired if they register a .04% BAC or over. Normal drivers only have to stay below .08% BAC.
So an Uber driver can only have had one beer and still easily be over the limit. Uber also has a zero-tolerance for alcohol and any violation should end up with the driver fired.
How to Tell if Your Uber Driver is Drunk
You may have an easy time telling when your friends or family have had too many drinks, but with someone you don’t know it may be harder to determine. The driver may just be sleepy (another potential problem) or be a truly bad driver.
The bottom line is that if you feel unsafe, you need to get out of the situation as soon as possible. Otherwise, keep a close eye on the driver and watch out for these signs of alcohol or drug use:
- Drunk Greeting. Your first clue that drivers have been drinking may come immediately as you exchange a greeting with an Uber employee. Their speech may be slurred. Their volume level may be very low or inappropriately loud. You might even get them talking to see if you can get a better sense of what’s going on.
- The driver may have red eyes and be nodding his or her head a lot.
- Driving too fast or too slow. Tailgaiting.
- Slow to stop for traffic lights and slow to take off.
- Weaving between lanes.
- No lights. Driving without headlights at night. Using traffic signals at the wrong time.
- There may be a smell of alcohol in the car.
How to Escape the Uber Car if a Driver has Been Drinking
The situation that’s left you in a car with a drunk Uber driver may make you feel very alone, but this predicament has been endured by many other Uber passengers. DriveArmy reports that over a two-year period Uber received more than 2000 rider complaints regarding drivers who were reportedly under the influence. Those cases resulted in only 574 drivers losing their right to drive for Uber.
If you feel you are in an Uber car driven by an unsafe or intoxicated driver you have the right to end your ride at any time.
Uber instructs victims on their website. “Uber does not tolerate the use of alcohol or drugs by drivers using the Uber app. If you believe your driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, please ask the driver to END THE TRIP IMMEDIATELY. Then exit the car and call 911.”
Hopefully, the driver will comply. If not, don’t take unsafe measures to get out. Don’t try to exit if the car is still moving.
You may have to utilize the Emergency Assistance Button that Uber provides in the app. This will call 911 and also easily transfer data on where you are and who’s driving. If the app isn’t working, just dial 911 directly and alert them to what is going on.
Once you’re safely out of the car call 911 if you haven’t already. You don’t want a drunk driver to continue on his or her way to hurt someone in a car crash.
Then when you feel safe you’ll want to alert Uber and tell them about your experience. You’ll locate the help button on the app, select your issue, and tell them about your experience. Be as detailed as possible.
Uber will open an investigation into the driver and the trip and may reach out to you for further information.
Support for Rideshare Accident Victims in California
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident involving an Uber driver, no matter if the driver was drunk or sober, you should contact a rideshare accident attorney who specializes in dealing with big companies like Uber and making sure they are held liable for their employees’ mistakes.
Our attorneys are here to help support you through recovery and make sure you don’t get stuck with the cost of your medical expenses in an accident that wasn’t your fault. We can work to build your case and handle communication with insurance companies and lawyers, so you can focus on healing. To learn more about filing a legal claim against Uber, contact our office today.