7-Year Ban On DUI Uber & Lyft Drivers Under New Alabama Law


Frank Ward is a lawyer based out of Huntsville, Alabama, and practicing throughout North Alabama.  His practice focuses on DUI defense, driver license issues, expungement of criminal records, as well as, estate planning and probate.

Back on January 11th, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey spoke at a rally where she threw support behind the push for a statewide regulation scheme for ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft.  Forty-four states already have such comprehensive ride-sharing regulation schemes.  Legislation that would have added Alabama to this list was introduced last year, but it failed to pass the Alabama Legislature.

Now the Alabama Legislature has finally passed such legislation.  House Bill 190 was passed by the House on January 30, 2018 and went on to pass the Senate on February 13, 2018.  As of this writing, the bill has been delivered to the Governor Ivey’s office, where it will surely be signed soon.  

For the Alabama public, this means greater access to ride-sharing options throughout the state.  To DUI defense lawyers, those charged with DUI, and those with DUI convictions, House Bill 190 is of interest for a couple of reasons.  First, it will prohibit a person with a DUI conviction from working as a ride-sharing driver for a period of 7 years. The 7-year ban also applies to any felony, hit and run, reckless driving and any other misdemeanor violent offense or sexual battery.  A 3-year ban would be applied to fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless driving, driving while suspended/revoked or more than 3 moving violations in a 3 year period.  Did you catch that?  Reckless driving appears under both the 7-year and 3-year ban provisions. This double entry of reckless driving is clearly a drafting error that made it through to the final bill. Registered sex offenders are outright banned from ride-share driving, at least as long as they are on the sex offenders list. 

The second reason this bill is of interest in the DUI context is that the greater availability of ride-sharing options may reduce the rate of DUI by lessening the temptation of those under the influence to drive, since a convenient alternative will be available. That would be great for Alabama but perhaps not the writer's livelihood. Oh well, I can always drive for Uber.