Ben Hueso. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Ben Hueso. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

California Senator Ben Hueso may not like how transportation companies like Uber and Lyft are operating in his state, but he may want to use those services the next time he goes out drinking.

On Thursday, Hueso — whose brothers own cab companies — voted in favor of a bill that would impose several new regulations on companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. Then, as noted by CalNewsroom, Hueso was caught drunk driving the very next day.

While Hueso’s fellow partying politicians took cabs home, the 44-year-old Democrat decided to drive his own car. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick tweeted that “you just can’t make this stuff up”:

Uber has touted its service as one that helps reduce DUI rates in cities, although the company’s calculations are suspect. Still, it’s clear that having more late-night transportation options provides a better way for those under the influence to get home safely.

But Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar could see their business take a hit in California depending on how lawmakers vote this week. One bill would require stronger insurance requirements, while another would force the companies to take part in a statewide DMV program, restrict them from hiring drivers with credit card fraud, and have their drivers submit to a state Justice Department background check, among other requirements.

Hat tip TechDirt

Related: Uber, Lyft not a top priority for Portland leaders, official says

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  • Money Manager

    Follow the money…

  • Kary

    I don’t really see the logic in the argument that someone drove drunk, therefore these ride-share companies should be unregulated and under-insured. It is however ironic that a company that operates illegally in many places expects others to follow any law.

  • Guest

    Hueso should not have been driving drunk. Really stupid. He will have to pay the consequences for breaking the law. That is completely clear. But how is this related to companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar repeatedly and knowingly breaking laws all over the country and then saying they should be legalized? If you follow Kalanick’s logic, it was convenient for Hueso to drive, so he didn’t need to follow the law. Since nobody got hurt, it was clearly a good idea, so drunk driving should noe be legalized.

    BTW, that Uber report that they reduce DUIs is junk science. There are so many potential variables that there’s no conclusion to be reached. For example, they don’t show data about actual cab rides given to drunk passengers, by either Uber or the existing cab companies. Since DUIs only decreased at the beginning of Uber’s presence in Seattle, and then went back up, could it be that DUI arrests are seasonal? Have they compared DUIs year-over-year? And, there is no control. How about comparing other cities, with and without Uber. I’ll bet there’s at least one city where DUIs went up (which we also can’t blame on Uber).

  • Guest

    LOL! What a fool Ben is. That will teach him to hate TNCs.

    Let this be a lesson to the other idiots of the world: oppose Uber and you could find yourself in gaol.

  • John Kane

    If this article– with it’s title and horribly twisted logic– doesn’t convince readers of Geek Wire that Geek Wire is a completely biased, pro-corporate, pro-Uber & Lyft website without an ounce of integrity on related issues, then nothing will.

    This California lawmaker also didn’t take a taxi. OH THE IRONY!!!

    I mean, please. How stupid do you think we are? The “reporter” on this article ought to be ashamed as should Geek Wire.

  • Ruth Tolman

    Also partying with Ben Hueso was CA State Senator Ricardo Lara. He had a drag queen party in his Sacramento offices. SEE THE VIDEO:

  • Michael James Hansen

    Thats funny, yes, follow the money, there are so many greedy bastards doing nothing but destroying the fantastic Home Land of USA. As long as they get the money they need, they will do or say whatever the supplier wants.

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