If Rideshare Companies Leave California, Will DUIs Increase?

September 15, 2020

Uber and Lyft may suspend service over a new California employment law.

If Rideshare Companies Leave California, Will DUIs Increase?

In 2019, California passed a law (known as AB5) that set out a new test adopted by the California Supreme Court. This test helps determine whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee — an important distinction when it comes to pay, benefits, and legal protections. Under AB5, most gig economy workers will now be employees instead of independent contractors.

Uber, Lyft and other tech companies immediately filed a lawsuit against the state. They also spent tens of millions of dollars getting an initiative on the ballot in November to exempt rideshare and delivery companies from AB5 (Prop 22). A court recently ruled that Uber and Lyft must comply with this law. The companies immediately warned that they may suspend service in California because of AB5. It is unclear whether these companies, which are based in California, would actually suspend service, or if they are simply making these threats to motivate people to vote in favor of Prop 22.

According to a DUI defense attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, this raises a significant concern: will the absence of rideshare companies lead to an increase in DUIs? These companies are responsible for millions of rides each day. Many of these trips involve things like taking people to and from an airport, or even getting people to work. But others involve picking people up after they have been drinking or using drugs — allowing them to avoid getting behind the wheel when it is unsafe to do so.

Having an app on your phone that lets you get a ride makes it easier than ever before to avoid drunk driving. Instead of calling and waiting for a taxi — if taxi service is even available in your area — you can simply tap your phone and arrange for a ride. Another person can even get an Uber for you — which makes it easier for someone else to prevent drunk driving even if you are too drunk to make a smart decision. If these services are no longer available, the rate of drunk driving (and DUI arrests) may skyrocket.

No matter what happens with Uber or Lyft, we can all take steps to prevent DUIs. This includes having a designated driver, asking a friend or family member to come and get you, staying over if you drink too much, or calling an old-fashioned taxi. We encourage everyone to drink responsibly, and to never drive if you have had too much to drink or if you have been using drugs.

If you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the Chambers Law Firm can help. We evaluate each case to develop a comprehensive factual and legal defense, and work to get the charges dismissed or reduced through negotiations with the prosector. We aren’t afraid to take a case to trial — and will stand by your side throughout the process. To learn more or to schedule a consultation with a DUI defense attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, reach out today at 855-397-0210 or info@orangecountyduifirm.com.

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