Calif. State Sen. Ben Hueso Arrested For DUI After Vote Against Ride-Sharing Apps

| by Jared Keever

California state Sen. Ben Hueso, a Democrat, was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Business Insider reports that just hours before his arrest Hueso had voted for legislation, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, that would require intense background checks for drivers using new, popular ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

Uber, it is reported, has been campaigning in the state, urging voters to call their state representatives and ask them to vote against the bill. 

Such ride-sharing apps allow private individuals to use their own vehicles to provide taxi-like service to people who need rides. Potential riders and the drivers communicate through smartphone apps and agree on prices beforehand. 

A recent Washington Post blog explored a loose correlation between use of the apps in major cities and a decline in arrests for drunk driving in those same cities. 

The technology is opposed by cab companies, whose prices are often undercut by the ride-sharing drivers. The cab companies were among the major supporters of Nazarian’s bill. 

The Daily Caller reports that Hueso’s two brothers own a cab company in San Diego. 

California Highway Patrol Officer Julie Powell said Hueso was observed driving the wrong way on a one-way street. He showed “objective signs and symptoms” of being under the influence of alcohol and submitted to a field sobriety test, Powell told the Sacramento Bee.

He was arrested shortly after and booked into the Sacramento County jail. His precise blood alcohol level was not released.

Upon his release, about noon Friday, he issued a statement apologizing for the situation.

“I am truly and profoundly sorry for the unacceptably poor personal judgment which I demonstrated last night,” Hueso said. 

“As someone who cares deeply about the public safety, I sincerely apologize to my family, my constituents and my colleagues in the Senate for breaching the trust they’ve all placed in me,” he added. “I accept complete personal responsibility for my actions and any punishments that ultimately come my way as a result of this incident. I will also engage in immediate, corrective actions to ensure this kind of personal conduct is never repeated.”

Sources: Business Insider, Washington Post, The Daily Caller, Sacramento Bee

Photo Source: California Highway PatrolWikipedia