Drunk Uber driver sentenced to community corrections for crash that injured passenger

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — An Uber driver with a history of drunk driving who was found guilty of crashing his vehicle that injured his passenger has been sentenced.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that 44-year-old Brian Haas of Denver was sentenced to three years in community corrections for his conviction of vehicular assault, driving under the influence with two or more previous convictions and careless driving resulting in injury.

Prosecutors had sought the maximum of six years in prison.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Haas picked up a 38-year-old woman for a ride home from a grocery store in Aurora.

Haas was driving his Hyundai Elantra eastbound on East Lincoln Avenue in Douglas County. As he tried to turn left onto South Chambers Road, he failed to yield to oncoming traffic that had a green light, prosecutors said.

Haas collided with a Lexus SUV driven by a 48-year-old man. The driver of the Lexus suffered a concussion and some nerve damage in his arm.

Haas and his passenger were taken to Parker Adventist Hospital. The woman suffered several broken ribs.

A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy notice a strong smell of alcohol in Haas’ vehicle. Haas was interviewed at the hospital, and the deputy detected alcohol on his breath and noticed his speech was slurred.

A test determined Haas’ blood-alcohol content was 0.228, nearly three times over the legal limit of 0.08.

Haas was convicted on March 1 and sentenced on Friday.

Haas was convicted of driving while ability impaired in Boulder County in 1996 and El Paso County in 1992.

“A driver whose blood-alcohol content is in excess of four times the .05 legal limit is Uber drunk and should not be putting the community at risk by driving at all, let alone with unsuspecting passengers in his car,” District Attorney George Brauchler said.

“The only place for a repeat drunken driver with such an extraordinary BAC who hurts somebody while driving drunk is prison. That is for what we asked on behalf of the community we work to protect.”

Uber said Haas last had access to the Uber app almost three months before the crash.

Additionally, the company said it has no record of a trip taking place on that date with Haas, nor does it have a record of law enforcement or attorneys contacting Uber to confirm his status as a driver.

However, the district attorney’s office said the victim told deputies after the crash she had contacted Haas through the Uber app.

Haas also told deputies the victim contacted him because he was an Uber driver.

Additionally, the defendant’s car had an Uber sticker displayed in the windshield and he identified himself as an Uber driver in court.

Photo: 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The only way to arrange an Uber trip is through the app.