The vast majority of car accidents caused nationwide as well as California are caused by “driver error.” Indeed, a stunning 90% or so of motor vehicle accidents are at least partly caused by driver mistakes, based on Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.
Naturally, unpacking these driver errors requires a thorough understanding of California law. To that end, two important changes are on the horizon for California drivers, both of which could have significant implications for driver liability in the event of a car accident.
SB 65 Prohibits Marijuana Use in Vehicles
California rung in 2018 with its first legalized sales for recreational marijuana use. While a subsequent law did not receive nearly as much statewide or national attention, SB 65 also effectively prohibits drivers from smoking or ingesting marijuana products while driving. Further, even passengers are prohibited from using marijuana products in a vehicle.
These laws have already gone into effect, as the new change was made effective January 1, 2018. Just because recreational marijuana was made legal does not mean drivers will be able to escape liability if it becomes known that a driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of an accident.
AB 2687 Makes it Easier for Ride-Sharing Drivers to Get a DUI
This is an important legal change for both independent contractors and passengers of ride-sharing services alike. Although the law has not yet taken effect, AB 2687 now makes it against California law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.04% or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of offense.
This puts Uber or Lyft drivers effectively on par with the higher standards expected of commercial drivers who are also held to the 0.04% or more BAC standard. Regular drivers are still held to the 0.08% BAC standard, which also had applied to independent contractors driving for a ride-sharing service prior to the passage of AB 2687.
Collectively, these are two important changes to keep in mind regarding changes to California law on driving under the influence. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver in California, talk to The Ledger Law Firm to explore your legal options.
Our team will investigate your case and pursue all forms of compensation against any legally responsible party who drove under the influence. We aim to make the turbulent and stressful period of uncertainty after an accident less stressful by building a strong legal case while you focus on healing and spending time with loved ones.
Each step of the way, we will provide you with updates and give you the information needed to make a sound legal decision as your case progresses. Contact us online today and take the first step toward receiving the compensation you deserve after being injured by a drunk driver.