When they plan on drinking and partying, some people assign a designated driver for the evening. Some party-goers will call a cab. More are turning to new choices like Uber and Lyft to get them home safely after a night of drinking. They choose these options because they believe them to be safe and safer for other commuters than getting behind the wheel themselves.
In Los Angeles, 19-year old Arlene Mendez decided to call Uber to pick her up so she could go hang out with friends. She contacted the driver at around 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. She did so because she was trying to do the right thing.
Almost immediately, the Uber driver made Mendez feel uncomfortable with his speed through the surface streets.
“Actually, I looked over his shoulder to see how fast he was going and it said 80. He was going 80. And that’s when I told him to slow down, but he didn’t listen to me,” she said.
At some point, the driver slammed into the back of another car making a turn onto from Blanchard Street.
Mendez said that the car flipped over and that she was screaming. Nearby Good Samaritans pulled Mendez from the mangled car. When the California Highway Patrol arrived and began administering a sobriety test on the driver, Mendez’s aunt was shocked.
Police administered a field sobriety and a breathalyzer test. The driver, 22-year old Juan Pablo Garcia failed the tests and was handcuffed. He was charged with speeding and driving under the influence.
Uber sent a statement that said they have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol. They have permanently barred the driver from using the platform. They were grateful that no one was injured.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, it is important to get legal representation. Our attorneys are all experienced in DUI cases. Contact us today.