Can I Drive for Uber After a DWI in Texas?

June 11, 2024 | By Law Offices of David M. White
Can I Drive for Uber After a DWI in Texas?

Getting arrested for a DWI can be a scary and confusing experience, especially if you rely on driving for Uber as your primary source of income. You're likely worried about how a DWI conviction could hurt your ability to continue driving and earning a living.

Will Uber find out about your arrest? Can you still drive for Uber after a DWI in Texas? What other consequences might you face?

These are all common and valid concerns to have after a DWI arrest in Texas.

In some cases, you may drive for Uber after a DWI, especially if you have an experienced DWI defense attorney on your side. However, it will depend on the specific details of your case and Uber's background check policies. 

Contact an experienced DWI defense attorney in San Angelo to discuss your case and learn of your rights and options.

Schedule a free consultation

Driving Record Requirements for Uber in Texas

Uber, as well as Lyft, has strict requirements when it comes to their drivers' criminal and motor vehicle records. In general, you must have a valid driver's license, proof of residency in your city and state, proof of vehicle insurance, and a clean driving record. 

Can I Drive for Uber After a DWI in Texas

Uber's official policy states that drivers must have at least one year of licensed driving experience in the U.S. (three years if you are under 23 years old).

Your driving record must also be clear of major violations within the past seven years, including DUI, reckless driving, failed breathalyzer tests, speeding over 100 mph, and driving on a suspended license, among others.

Based on these official policies, a recent DWI conviction would likely disqualify you from driving for either Uber in Texas, at least for a period of seven years.

However, every case is unique, which is why it's so important to consult with a knowledgeable Texas DWI attorney about your specific situation.

What If I'm an Uber Driver and Get Arrested for DWI in Texas?

If you are actively driving for Uber or Lyft at the time of your DWI arrest, or if you have an Uber passenger in your vehicle, you will most likely be deactivated as a driver immediately.

Uber's official policy states that they will deactivate access to the platform for any driver who receives a citation for DUI while using the Uber app and will remove the driver from the platform completely upon a DUI conviction.

This is true even if it's your first offense and it happens while you are not actively driving for Uber at the time. A DWI arrest or conviction is a serious matter, regardless of the circumstances. Uber has a low-tolerance policy when it comes to drivers with DUIs on their records.

How Often Does Uber Check Driver Records?

In addition to the initial background check performed when you first apply to become an Uber driver, the company also reserves the right to run additional checks periodically after you are approved.

This means that even if your DWI arrest happened after you were already approved as an Uber driver, it could still show up on a subsequent background check and result in deactivation.

The exact frequency of these ongoing background checks is not publicly disclosed by Uber. Some sources say Uber performs them annually, while others say it does so as often as every six months. Regardless, Uber will discover a new DWI conviction sooner rather than later, which could put your ability to continue driving for them in serious jeopardy.

Non-Disclosure of DWI Convictions in Texas

In Texas, some individuals may have their DWI conviction sealed or non-disclosed after completing their sentence and waiting a certain period of time. A successfully non-disclosed DWI conviction will not appear on your criminal record during a standard background check.

DWI in Texas

However, even if  a non-disclosure order seals your DWI, it will still appear on your driving record. Since rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft look at both criminal and driving records as part of their background check process, a non-disclosed DWI likely won't make a difference in terms of your eligibility to drive for them.

Additionally, non-disclosure is only available in certain cases (typically first-time DWI offenses) and has a waiting period of two to five years. During this waiting period, Uber could still see your conviction on your record and would likely prohibit you from driving for it.

Importance of an Effective DWI Defense

The best way to protect your ability to drive for Uber after a DWI arrest is to fight your charges with the help of a skilled Texas DWI attorney. Your lawyer’s efforts may reduce or dismiss your charges, which would prevent a conviction from ever appearing on your record.

However, even if you can't get your case dismissed outright, a knowledgeable DWI lawyer may still minimize the consequences of a conviction, such as by negotiating for a lesser charge, arguing for reduced penalties, or ensuring that you receive the most favorable plea deal possible. This could make a significant difference in how long your conviction will affect your Uber eligibility.

What if the Court Found Me Not Guilty or Dismissed My DWI Case?

If police arrested you for DWI but the court ultimately found you not guilty, or if it dismissed your case, Uber may let you drive for it. Since these outcomes do not result in a criminal conviction, it will find nothing on your record during a background check.

However, the arrest itself could still appear on your record, even without a conviction. Some rideshare companies may disqualify applicants based on prior arrests alone. If you find yourself in this situation, an attorney may get your arrest expunged from your record.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

DWI Lawsuit

After an arrest for DWI in Texas, the smartest thing you can do is to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

A skilled lawyer can:

  • Explain your charges and the potential consequences of a conviction 
  • Investigate your case for weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence or police mistakes
  • Identify strong defenses and build an effective case strategy  
  • Negotiate with prosecutors for a dismissal or reduction in charges
  • Argue for minimized penalties if a conviction is unavoidable
  • Advise you on how a conviction or plea deal could affect your Uber/Lyft driving eligibility
  • Work to get your arrest record sealed or expunged when possible

Contact an Experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney Today

At The Law Offices of David M. White, we understand what you are going through and are here to help.

Our team of skilled Texas DWI attorneys has successfully handled thousands of drunk driving cases, and we know what it takes to secure the best possible outcome in your case. We will fight tenaciously to protect your rights, reputation, and driving privileges.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. Let us put our experience and skills to work for you.

Schedule a free consultation