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Achadjian Introduces Legislation to Protect Uber, Lyft and Taxi Passengers

Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (San Luis Obispo) along with Assemblymembers Evan Low and Ling Ling Chang, announced the introduction of legislation which would require all passenger for hire vehicles — such as Uber, Lyft and taxicabs — to follow the same blood alcohol content guidelines as commercial drivers. 

Currently, the law states that a commercial driver can have a BAC of .04, yet someone driving with passengers can have a BAC of .08. Assembly Bill 2687 will lower the threshold to .04 BAC for passenger for hire vehicles to ensure that the public remains safe.

“With evolving technology at the forefront of California’s economy, we need to ensure that those embracing it are safe,” said Achadjian. “In order to safeguard California residents, we need to ensure that passenger for hire vehicles are operating under the same standards as those of commercial drivers.”

Recently, ride sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have seen a tremendous growth in consumers. Along with taxi cabs, these drivers are hired to provide a professional service.

However, this past year, San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow’s office prosecuted a ride sharing driver for a DUI offense who had above a .08 BAC when they noticed the out of date code section that didn’t account for these new passenger for hire vehicles. 

The new bill holds passenger for hire services to the strictest standard.

“This bill promotes consumer safety both in the sharing economy as well as traditional markets such as taxis,” said Assemblymember Chang. “I’m committed to ensuring California is an incubator of innovation as well as a safe place to live, and this proposal fits that mold.”

AB 2687 will be in print for 30 days before being referred to the corresponding policy committee for a hearing. If successful, the law would take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

More information regarding this bill can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov.

— Tiffany Zurilgen Ryan is the legislative director of the Office of Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian.

 

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