On June 21, Florida House Majority Leader Dana Young used her Twitter account to voice support for Uber. Young stated that there have been significantly fewer DUI arrests in Tampa since the ridesharing company began operating there. She also said that the ‘Austin situation” was ‘disturbing.” In May, Uber and Lyft stopped operating in Austin, and some people believe that there has been more drunk driving in the Texas city as a result.
Young has been a vocal supporter of Uber, and she has fought against ridesharing regulations in the past. When a bill to regulate ridesharing apps was proposed in 2015, Young proposed an amendment to the bill that would allow ridesharing drivers to bypass fingerprinting requirements. Young also cosponsored a bill in February that would prevent the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission from imposing the same regulations on ridesharing apps that it does on taxicabs.
A fact-checking site called Politifact says that Young’s statements about the link between DUI arrests and ridesharing is not exactly accurate. After Young’s recent tweet about Uber, her communication team presented evidence of a 30 percent decline in DUI arrests. Politifact says that the six-month time periods between January and June in 2014 and 2015 were cherry-picked, and DUI arrest numbers have been fluctuating for the past four years.
A person who has been accused of driving drunk could face the possibility of license suspension, fines and jail time if a conviction is obtained. As a result, those who are facing DUI charges may want to have the assistance of an attorney in combating them. One potential defense strategy could be to question the validity of the way that sobriety tests were administered.