Broward County, FL- If you are one of the thousands of Broward County residents who rely on Uber to save you from DUI charges or take you to the airport, you’re out of luck now that the ride-sharing service has announced they will be temporarily suspending service in the county.
Uber announced today that they would suspend service beginning July 31st after the county passed what the company has describes as “burdensome” regulations. The new rules require all Uber drivers to obtain a chauffer’s license, a county permit, and county-run background check along with a requirement that Uber drivers carry commercial insurance on their vehicles, the Sun Sentinel reported.
In a statement, Uber said, “Broward County officials implemented one of the most onerous regulatory frameworks for ridesharing in the nation. We have no choice but to suspend operations on July 31. We hope the Board of County Commissioners will revisit the issue when they return from break and work with us to bring Uber back to Broward.”
Uber’s decision to pull out of Broward County came a month after the Broward County officials passed the new regulations in late April. In an attempt to get the county to remove the regulations, Uber announced that they would no longer pick up passengers form Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. The company agreed to drop people off but refused to pick them up in the hopes that the county officials would change their minds about the severe regulations they passed.
“I want to send a clear message to Uber and Lyft that we have laws and rules and regulations that you need to abide by for the safety of our passengers,” Commissioner Barbara Sharief said in April, Local 10 News reported.
If safety of the county’s residents were Commissioner Sharief’s primary concern, she and her associates would consider how regulations that weren’t so prohibitive. The main draws of Uber and other ride-sharing companies include convenience, lower fares and cleaner vehicles. Although Uber has come under fire in for surge pricing— jacking up fare rates during especially busy times – their lower rates are still a major draw. Users also like that you can get a ride via their cell phone and there is not exchange of cash, everything, fare and tip included, is paid for via credit card through the company’s app.
“These are all for the benefit of the public, ultimately,” said attorney Mark Stempler, who represents Yellow Cab, told Local 10 News. “If Uber doesn’t want to comply with them, that’s its prerogative.”
Although Stempler and transportation interests whom pushed for the controls over Uber say that they are most concerned with safety, but said they were disappointed that county commissioners did not include fare regulations and allowed Uber to register as many vehicles as they wanted, according to a statement on the Becker & Poliakoff website.
Uber will still operate in adjacent counties but the new regulations could mean more drunken drivers on the roads in Broward County. If you happen to be one of those drinkers who rely on Uber and find yourself facing a DUI charge, we at USAttorneys urges you to contact a DUI defense lawyer in Broward County to help with your charges.