Judge Orders DUI Offenders to Use Ridesharing Apps


Some call it unorthodox and some call it creative. Whatever you call it, some judges are finding some rather unusual penalties for DUI offenders as a means to keep them from driving under the influence again.

According to The News-Herald, Ohio Municipal Court Judge, Michael A. Cicconetti has been ordering people convicted of “operating a vehicle while impaired” (OVI), which is the Ohio equivalent to California’s “driving under the influence” (DUI), to install ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft on their phone as part of their sentence. As a condition of their probation, they must also input their credit card information into the app.

"If you can save one person from getting another OVI, one person from getting into an accident, one person from hurting somebody else, it makes sense," Cicconetti told The News-Herald. "It’s just common sense. It doesn’t cost anybody anything to install it and activate it, and it’s far cheaper than paying the thousands of dollars you’d have to pay for another OVI."

Judge Cicconetti is no stranger to “creative sentencing,” myself, or my readers. In fact, I wrote about another one of Judge Cicconetti’s “creative sentences” back in January of 2013.

In that instance, Judge Cicconetti gave a DUI offender the option of going to jail or viewing the bodies of fatal traffic collisions.

Cicconetti has grown a reputation for handing out controversial sentences. In 2009 Cicconetti sentenced a man to wear a chicken suit in public as punishment for solicitation of a prostitute. The choice in attire was in direct reference to the Chicken Ranch Brothel. In 2005 Cicconetti sentenced a woman to spend the night out in the woods for abandoning 33 kittens in the forest during winter. In 2011 a couple pled guilty to taking an unregistered raft to Grand River, ignoring flood emergency warnings, and were sentenced to standing in a kiddy pool, wearing life jackets, while handing out safety pamphlets during a food festival.

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