For many people in California, ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft provide a safe and responsible alternative to drinking and driving. You can go out for a night on the town and drink as much as you want without worrying about arranging a designated driver or trying to drive yourself home. Instead, a sober driver will pick you up and take you home for a reasonable fee.
That’s the idea at least. A former Southern California Uber driver was sentenced to three years’ probation for drinking and driving with a customer in the back seat. As the prosecutor noted in the Long Beach Press Telegram, the man violated the trust his fare put in him to drive safely.
Pulled over on PCH
A California Highway Patrol officer pulled over the defendant’s car early in the morning of April 23 after observing him weaving across lanes on the 710 and the Pacific Coast Highway, reaching speeds of 90 mph.
The driver blew a 0.22 blood-alcohol level after being taken into custody. He was charged with DUI and Uber banned him from using its driver app soon after, essentially firing him.
Earlier this month, the defendant’s lawyer pleaded no contest to DUI and was sentenced to three years of probation and agreed to install an ignition interlock device in his car. The man, who reportedly now lives out of state, also gave up his California driver’s license.
Very lucky passenger
The passenger is not identified in the Press Telegram story, but they were extremely fortunate that the Uber driver did not get into a crash. A drunk driver who is out of control on PCH could cause extreme harm, even at 4 am.