Colorado fines Uber $9 million for employing disqualified drivers
Offenders were found to have been charged with DUIs, DWIs, reckless driving and driving under restraint.
Ridesharing service Uber has been penalized $8.9 million by the state Colorado for allowing 57 individuals with criminal or motor vehicle offenses, or without valid licenses, to be registered drivers with the company.
Criminal investigators with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued the Civil Penalty Assessment Notice (CPAN) to Rasier, the parent company of Uber, for infringements occurring over the last year and a half.
Uber received multiple penalties of $2,500 for each day a disqualified driver was found to have worked.
The PUC investigation was launched earlier this year after Vail Police Department informed the regulator about an Uber driver accused of assaulting a passenger. Driver records were then cross-checked against information filed with the Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC) and court databases, revealing Uber had hired drivers with prior felony convictions, major moving violations and suspended, revoked or cancelled licenses.
Offenders were also found to have been charged with DUIs, DWIs, reckless driving and driving under restraint.
The PUC said Uber had also failed to identify a number of aliases used by drivers, including one individual who was a convicted felon, habitual offender, and had once escaped from the Colorado Department of Corrections.
State laws require transport companies to perform criminal history record checks prior to employment. Drivers must have a valid license and businesses must obtain and review prospective employee driving history reports.
Uber can pay half the penalties within 10 days to resolve the case or can request a contest hearing.
“We recently discovered a process error that was inconsistent with Colorado’s ridesharing regulations and proactively notified the Colorado Public Utilities Commission,” Uber said in a released statement.
“This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action. Per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations, drivers with access to the Uber app must undergo a nationally accredited third-party background screening. We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans.”
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