Lawmaker Votes to Restrict Ridesharing Companies, Gets DUI


California Senator, Ben Hueso (D – San Diego), could have benefited from one of the ridesharing companies he had recently voted to restrict last week when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The California lawmaker had attended a reception by the Latino Legislative Caucus in Sacramento and was on his way home early Saturday morning when he was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Officers pulled over Hueso’s state-owned Ford Fusion. California Highway Patrol Officer Julie Howell said that arresting officers observed Hueso display the “objective signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication.” Hueso was then taken into custody and booked into the Sacramento County Jail at 3:27am.

Just prior to attending the reception, Hueso, whose bothers own taxi companies, had voted in favor of Assembly Bill 612 which would impose restrictions on ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. Recently in the news for claiming to reduce DUIs, rideshare companies offer an alternative to what can sometimes be the hassle of getting a cab. The proposed legislation, if passed, would require stronger insurance conditions, require participation in California DMV programs, and require their drivers to undergo a California Justice Department background check, amongst other restrictions.

Sidecar CEO, Sunil Paul told the Mercury News that the bill is “a burdensome approach that is backed by the taxicab lobby, really, to try and shut us down. If it passes, it is a disaster – it would literally spell the end of the rideshare industry.”

“I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night,” Hueso said in an apology he issued following his release. “As someone who cares deeply about the public safety, I sincerely apologize to my family, my constituents and my colleagues in the Senate for breaching the trust they’ve all placed in me.”

Uber CEO was quick to comment on Huesa’s arrest, tweeting “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

There’s no way to know if Hueso’s second guessing his vote now. One thing is for sure, he would have prevented his own DUI arrest had he used any one of the rideshare options and he certainly might have to use them if his license gets suspended.

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