When someone drives for Uber or Lyft, he or she has a responsibility to operate his or her vehicle safely and according to the law – and the driver certainly cannot be under the influence at the time. However, some rideshare drivers can disregard these laws and put their passengers at risk by driving while drunk or high. The following signs can help you determine if your rideshare driver may be under the influence.
#1: Your Driver Is Speeding or Changing Speeds Erratically
Intoxicated drivers often have no idea how fast or slow they are driving. As a result, they can either drive very fast with no regard to laws or passenger safety, or they can overcompensate by driving too slow. In addition, drunk drivers can become paranoid and change speeds erratically to overcompensate.
Your driver should follow the speed limit, but he or she should also maintain a steady speed throughout the ride and avoid going too slow. If you notice something strange about your driver’s speed, he or she may be under the influence.
#2: Your Driver Is Swerving
Drivers who are drunk or on drugs have little control over their physical, visual, and mental faculties Alcohol and drugs make it very difficult to drive in a straight line and hard to focus.
Because of this, they can start swerving on the road. They can drift into the other lanes or even into oncoming traffic. They can also run over medians and crash into objects on the side or middle of the road.
If you notice your driver drifting and swerving frequently, he or she is likely intoxicated. End the ride immediately and exit the vehicle – you could get into a serious accident if you remain with the driver.
#3: You Can Smell Alcohol or Drugs
One of the most obvious signs of an intoxicated driver is the stench of alcohol or drugs. Unlike stinky food, alcohol doesn’t break down in our stomach. It stays in our blood and our lungs, which is why police officers use breathalyzers to detect alcohol content. As a result, you can often smell alcohol on someone’s breath when he or she talks to you.
Drugs such as marijuana have a strong stench as well, lingering for a long time after initial ingestion. If you notice the smell of alcohol or drugs in an Uber vehicle or on an Uber driver, do not get in. Cancel the ride and call another driver.
#4: Your Driver Has Slurred Speech and Seems Intoxicated
Intoxication can do many things to our bodies. We can feel light-headed, dizzy, and out of it. We lose control of our minds, bodies, and vision, and we cannot concentrate on what we are saying after a few drinks. You can usually detect if someone is drunk by the way he or she is speaking and what he or she says.
An intoxicated Uber driver may have slurred speech and have difficulty having a conversation. He or she may have trouble pronouncing or saying certain words. He or she may seem giddy, aggressive, or confused – all could be a sign of intoxication.
#5: Your Driver Does Not Follow Traffic Laws
While driving under the influence is already a serious traffic offense, alcohol and drugs impair our mental faculties and make us more likely to break other laws too. If your driver seems to have no regard for traffic laws, he or she may be on drugs or drunk.
For example, your driver may run a red light or stop sign, colliding with other vehicles, or fail to yield to certain hazards. He or she may not honor the right of way and make illegal maneuvers, such as illegal U-turns and lane changes.
Driving under the influence can lead to severe accidents, painful injuries, and long-lasting emotional trauma. If you suspect that your Uber or Lyft driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, cancel the ride and do not get into the vehicle. If you are already in the vehicle, demand that the driver end the ride immediately and exit the vehicle in a safe place.
Report the driver to the ridesharing company and law enforcement. If you are in an accident with an intoxicated rideshare driver, contact a rideshare attorney to discuss your options for injury compensation.