by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
California state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested for driving under the influence early last Friday hours after voting in favor of a bill placing heavy restrictions on the drivers of ride-sharing service startups Uber and Lyft.
Hueso, a Democrat who represents the Golden state’s San Diego area, was picked up and jailed by California Highway Patrol with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 after police saw the senator’s car driving the wrong way down a one-way street, according to the Sacramento Bee. He was released around noon the same day.
The senator, who’s two brothers Alfredo Hueso and Jose Antonio Hueso own a taxi company based in San Diego, voted for Democratic Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian’s Assembly Bill 612 the night before. The bill mandates Uber and Lyft drivers have no criminal record, and compels them to pass a thorough background check and drug test before getting behind the wheel. The bill passed 21 to 11.
Uber has been urging users to petition their representatives to vote against such bills, which have been popping up across the country, and typically carry the support of the taxi industry.
A recent story in The Washington Post pointed out dropping DUI rates in cities including San Francisco after ride-sharing services like Uber began operating.