A California Senator who voted in favor of strict new regulations on ride-sharing companies ended up with DUI charges very next day.
Sen. Ben Huerso voted for bills that would create tougher requirements for ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. The new requirements would include rules on insurance, background checks and drug testing, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Such restrictions would likely make it tougher for these companies to do business, and could raise the price of rides or chase the companies out of the state altogether.
Huerso had been out celebrating with several other congress members the night he was pulled over. Around 2:30 am, California Highway Patrol spotted Huerso traveling the wrong-way down a one-way street and making an illegal U turn while driving his state-issued Ford Focus, according to Fox 5 San Diego. He was given a field sobriety test and arrested. Huerso has been charged with suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more.
TechDirt pointed out the irony of a senator approving a bill that would heavily restrict services that are a great option for those who have had a few too many and need to get home.
Philadelphia and Seattle have both seen drunk driving arrests decrease since services like Uber started operations. Data from Philadelphia's Uniform Crime Reporting system shows DUI arrests dropped 11 percent during the months when Uber, UberX and Side Car began operating in the city, according NBC Philadelphia. Seattle saw a drop of around ten percent.
While correlation does not equal causation, Philadelphia did see the most significant reduction in DUI arrest for the people most likely to use the app: Millennials, who experienced an 18.5 percent drop in DUI arrests.