Intoxicated Rider Guide

Every weekend, late at night, fun loving folks spill out of bars and restaurants at closing time. This routine exodus causes an immediate spike in demand for safe, dependable transportation. When getting a safe ride home at the end of the night becomes as simple as opening the Uber app and tapping a button, people make the responsible choice. Uber and Uber users are proud to play a part in reducing the number of drunk driving accidents in cities we’ve entered. However, with alcohol comes unexpected behaviors that can be challenging for even the most seasoned partner-driver to manage.

The following is a guide to help you address a situation where the rider may have had too much to drink and it is negatively affecting the trip. Please note, these are merely compiled suggestions, while we encourage partner-drivers to use them, you are under no obligation to do so.  

  1. Uber strongly suggests that you try to remain calm and professional throughout every ride. We understand this can be challenging depending on the situation however; doing so will help to avoid a confrontation in the moment. If the rider’s behavior is in violation of the Code of Conduct, we encourage you to feel free to carefully document the incident and report the rider to Uber rather than try to correct the behavior yourself. After the conclusion of the trip, rate the rider appropriately, send your report via the Uber app or via help.uber.com and we will address the situation with the rider.

  2. If a rider is attempting to provoke a confrontation, it’s best to remain cool, use non-threatening words and even a friendly tone of voice. Although the situation is stressful, try to avoid raising your voice. People who have had too much to drink generally respond better to a friendly tone than an authoritative or angry tone.

  3. If possible, try to enlist the assistance of a sober (or less drunk) friend of the inebriated rider. Those who have had too much to drink are more likely to comply with a friend’s commands than someone they do not know.

  4. Consider striking up a friendly conversation with them - ask them general questions about themselves, offer to play their favorite music etc. Generally, if you can engage an intoxicated person in a positive way that will keep them distracted, their emotions will eventually cool down and the trip will continue smoothly. Breathe and Smile! ;)

  5. We do not recommend confronting the rider physically. That is a sure-fire way to turn a situation from bad to worse.

  6. It’s important to remember that alcohol alters a person’s state of mind. If an intoxicated individual attempts to make sexual advances towards you - we strongly recommend that you do not engage. This could be a violation of the Code of Conduct and could lead to deactivation of your Uber account.

  7. If at any time you feel that your personal safety is threatened, we recommend calling the local emergency services in your area.

On occasion, you may be transporting an intoxicated rider and they fall asleep or “pass out” in your vehicle. We absolutely understand that this is a difficult and sensitive situation - we want to provide you with as much information as possible about interacting with intoxicated riders in order to make an informed and appropriate decision in the moment.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Firstly, try to wake the rider using verbal queues. For example: call their name at an increasing volume, clap your hands loudly, play loud music, honk the horn, open and close a car door, call their phone etc.

  2. It’s best to avoid making physical contact to when trying to wake up an intoxicated individual. Shaking someone awake could startle them - especially if it’s done by someone that the rider is unfamiliar with. If the rider has friends in the vehicle or waiting for them at the destination, enlist their help in waking the rider.

  3. If the rider is unresponsive to your verbal queues to wake them up or if you’re at anytime concerned for the rider’s health, we suggest contacting emergency services in your area to assist the intoxicated rider.

Deciding whether or not to seek medical attention can be a difficult one, however, we know that the health and safety of you and your rider is top priority..." When in doubt, it never hurts to involve medical professionals, as they have the training and skills necessary for addressing situations like this. Uber will support your decision to seek medical attention for an inebriated rider. Once the situation has been resolved, please provide feedback via the Uber app or email support@uber.com to keep Uber informed of the details.