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New law affects rideshare drivers

Starting on July 1, 2018, the legal blood alcohol limit is .04 percent in California when a car is used as a passenger-for-hire service and a passenger is in the vehicle. A passenger for hire is defined as anyone who is receiving transportation in exchange for some sort of consideration. The consideration may be given directly or indirectly to the owner, operator or anyone else who has an interest in the vehicle.

It may be possible to assume that a driver had a blood alcohol content of .04 percent while driving a vehicle if a chemical test is given within three hours of driving. As a general rule, it is illegal in the state of California to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two while driving a motor vehicle for any reason.

Drivers who are facing drunk driving charges may wish to talk to an attorney. An attorney may be able to come up with one or more defenses to the charge, which may lead to an acquittal or a plea bargain. One way to dispute such a charge is to claim that the driver was under the legal blood alcohol limit when a test was given.

It may also be possible to argue that a driver did not show any other signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or glassy eyes. In some cases, it may be possible to show that such symptoms were actually related to a medical issue or some other problem that was not caused by drugs or alcohol in a driver’s system. If a test was performed incorrectly or handled improperly, it may also raise doubt as to whether a driver was intoxicated or impaired by alcohol when contacted by police.

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.