SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A San Francisco judge has ruled Uber must turn over data on how many times customers have complained about an impaired driver.
The ride-sharing company didn’t want to.
But the public complaints were not hard to find on Twitter.
“Uber, last night my driver was more drunk than me,” or “The DRUNK Uber driver had the audacity to pick us up, I am irate.”
Now a judge has ordered Uber to turn over those private complaints too, and also share what Uber did about them.
He was imparied to the point when the officer asked him where he was, like physically on the planet, he wasn’t really sure.
In 2016, Robert Win was pulled over by police in Southern California on suspicion of driving under the influence. Beer cans were found in his car and he blew a .25. That’s more than three times the legal limit.
“He was impaired to the point when the officer asked him where he was, like physically on the planet, he wasn’t really sure,” said Cmdr. Robert Arabian, with the Simi Valley Police Department.
And Robert Wing wasn’t just any driver.
“Turns out that driver, drives for Uber and was on his way to actually pick up a fare,” said Arabian.
Wing told police he had completed three fares and was on his way to pick up a fourth. When asked about this, Uber issued a statement saying, “We have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drug use for anyone driving on the Uber platform.”
But what does Uber mean when they say “zero tolerance.”
According to documents submitted to the Public Utilities Commission between August 2014 and August 2015, in California alone Uber received 2047 complaints about drivers being under the influence. Uber only deactivated 574, or 28 percent.
This got the attention of District Attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Evan Ackiron is the Managing Assistant District Attorney for San Francisco
“If they say they have a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol and they really don’t, it would be in violation of the injunction,” he said.
Thanks to an earlier legal settlement, Uber is legally required to tell the truth about its safety measures including zero-tolerance.
“What we’re here for today was to ask them for all their information about their zero-tolerance policy so we can see whether they’re in compliance or whether they’re misrepresenting the policy,” said Akiron.
Uber’s lawyer William Stern couldn’t talk to KPIX. He said, “The matter is under submission, I can’t comment.”
“They don’t like giving up documents or information, they’re a very private company,” said Arabian.
Thanks to the judge’s ruling, Uber now has to turn over information about drivers under the influence.
And starting in July, Uber, Lyft, taxis – anyone charging money for a ride – will have a different standard for DUIs. Instead of getting a DUI at a blood alcohol level of .08, they’ll be convicted for anything over a .04.