Working as a driver for Uber or Lyft can be appealing. It is a way for people to earn money on the side or supplement their income. There is a decent amount of flexibility and the process to sign up is not that hard. However, there are some restrictions that may prevent drivers from being able to be approved through Uber. This includes prior drunk driving offenses. The Uber selection and training process is very limited. Uber's minimum requirements include:
- Minimum age
- A least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you are under 23 years old)
- Valid U.S. driver's license
- Eligible four-door vehicle
- Proof of residency
- Proof of motor vehicle insurance
- Background check
- Motor vehicle report
Even with the background check, an approved driver is not necessarily a safe driver. Even registered rideshare drivers can cause accidents. If you were injured in an accident in Colorado, contact an experienced Colorado rideshare accident attorney for help.
Background Checks for Drivers
As part of the application process, Uber gets a background check report for applicants. Uber uses a third-party background check company, Checkr. According to the company, most background checks take 3 to 5 days. However, some checks have taken more time over the past year because of the coronavirus situation.
Checkr's reports include convictions and some arrests. Generally, arrests are reportable for 7 years from the date of the arrest and may appear on background checks for seven years. This includes arrests that did not end in conviction. However, some states prevent arrests from being reported. Background checks may include a review of multiple databases, including:
- County courts
- Federal courts
- Criminal databases
- Public Access to County Electronic Records (PACER)
- Social Security records
- Sex offender registry
- FBI records
An arrest for littering or jaywalking may not disqualify you from driving for Uber. Uber has even allowed some drivers with a non-violent felony conviction drive for the company. According to Uber, background check criteria varies from state to state.
Motor Vehicle Reports
The background check will also include a motor vehicle report (MVR). An MVR may also show minor traffic violations. A single minor violation may not be an automatic disqualifier but multiple violations may disqualify the driver. The MVR may include:
- Speeding citations
- Driving without a license
- Driving without insurance
- Running a red light
- No-fault accidents
Some of the more serious traffic violations may be automatic disqualifiers. This includes:
- Misdemeanor 25 or more miles per hour over the speed limit
- Hit and run
- Reckless driving
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
Colorado DUI or DWAI
Under Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 42-4-1301, a first-time, non-injury DUI or DWAI is a misdemeanor. someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is considered to be over the "legal limit." A driver with a BAC from 0.05% to under 0.08% is considered to have been driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
How Long Will a DUI or DWAI Stay On My Record?
Drivers with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado are disqualified for driving. Generally, a DUI will stay on your record for 10 years. A drunk driving offense could also continue to result in increased insurance rates for up to 10 years. Your driving record is not the same as your criminal record, but a background screening generally looks at both.
A “lookback period” is the amount of time the courts can look back at someone's record in considering multiple offenses. Lookback periods vary by state, with some only considering a prior DUI if it occurred within the last 5 years. However, Colorado does not have a “lookback” period. This means if you were convicted of a DUI in 1985, an drunk driving arrest in 2021 could result in a 2nd DUI charge, with increased penalties. However, in some cases, Uber only looks back at the previous 7 years for criminal offenses.
Does a Wet Reckless Disqualify Uber Drivers?
A “wet reckless” is a type of plea agreement where the driver pleads guilty to a lesser charge instead of facing a DUI or DWAI. The penalties are lower for a wet reckless but Uber generally considers a wet reckless conviction to be treated the same as a DUI.