Drunk DD: When Your Lyft is Liquored-Up | Lyft has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving while a driver is logged into its app. A hotline and email address for customers to report drunk drivers are offered to help enforce its policy. This allows victims involved in accidents with intoxicated Lyft drivers to take legal action.
Handling a Drunk Lyft Driver
There have been a number of incidents involving drunk Lyft drivers and Lyft’s zero-tolerance alcohol policy cannot stop a driver from picking up passengers after he or she has been drinking. In one of many documented incidents, a Lyft passenger experienced his drunk driver being pulled over after police spotted the driver swerving between lanes. Upon learning the incident, Lyft permanently removed the driver from its platform. The passenger was given five free rides, each with a maximum value of $25.
Identifying and Reporting a Drunk Driver
Generally, the space inside a vehicle is small enough to allow a passenger to smell alcohol once he or she enters the vehicle. There may be factors that cause a passenger to unsuccessfully sense the alcohol immediately, one being if the windows are down. A rider may be able to tell if the driver is intoxicated when communicating if the driver is clumsy, has delayed reflexes, has poor balance, or slurred speech.
Some drivers are good at hiding intoxication or impairment signs when talking to others. Nevertheless, driving behavior can point to a drunk Lyft driver. Many drunk drivers swerve and struggle to stay on a straight path. Other signs to take note of include:
- Erratic braking
- Rapid acceleration or deceleration
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Almost striking other vehicles, objects, or curb
- Turning illegally or abruptly
If a rider suspects a Lyft driver to be driving under the influence of alcohol, his or her first step should be to remove himself or herself from harm. Riders should end the trip as soon as possible and exit the vehicle once they are in a safe location.
Lyft encourages riders in these situations to contact the authorities and inform them of the issue. The authorities may put out a warning and pull over the vehicle to keep the passenger and other road users safe. The passenger is then advised to contact the company’s support team by tapping ‘Call Me.’
If riders are suspicious of a driver after the ride, they can rate the driver three stars or lower. This step ensures the passenger will not be matched with that driver again. A rider should also report if the police pull over the driver and question him or her for drunk driving during the ride.
What If a Drunk Driving Accident Occurs?
Lyft drivers are required to carry their own liability insurance while driving for the company. Lyft also provides coverage to people hurt in accidents. A $1 million liability insurance policy is active when a Lyft driver has a passenger in his or her vehicle. Lyft also carries a $1 million uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
When a rideshare driver wrecks a vehicle because of his or her intoxicated state, a passenger could seek compensation from the driver or the Lyft insurance covering the passenger at the time of the accident. If the driver’s policy cannot cover the full extent of a passenger’s losses, Lyft’s policies will supplement any additional costs for the victim’s injuries.
An accident victim could be entitled to punitive damages in addition to a settlement from the ridesharing driver’s insurance or Lyft’s own insurance. The question of liability can be challenging because Lyft considers drivers to be independent contractors. Therefore, getting the full compensation that one is entitled to when involved in a crash with an intoxicated Lyft driver is not a straightforward process. Discussing one’s case with an experienced attorney helps the victim protect his or her legal rights.