An Ohio judge is ordering drunk drivers to install ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft while on probation.
“It’s not one of those unusual sentences. There’s nothing crazy about it,” said Judge Michael. A. Cicconetti, who has made the requirement a condition of bail, according to Consumerist. “It’s just common sense. Now that we have the technology and most people have the ability to do that, why not make it part of their sentence?”
“It doesn’t cost anybody anything to install it and activate it, and it’s far cheaper than paying the thousands of dollars you’d have to pay for another OVI,” he continued.
Judge Cicconetti reportedly got the idea after he realized he couldn’t get one man to stop drinking, but he could get him in the habit of using ride-hailing apps.
“There was a fellow in here that I knew from Fairport. I see him at the clubs and organizations I belong to,” Cicconetti explained. “You’re not going to stop this person from drinking. Years ago I came to the realization that some people — it just doesn’t make sense to send them to these alcohol programs because they’re not going to stop drinking, period. What you want to do is stop them from drinking and driving.”
“This guy was drinking at the Hungarian Culture Club. I said, ‘Steve, for God’s sake, you only live a few blocks down, why didn’t you just call Uber or Lyft and get a ride? It can’t cost you more than three dollars!’ He said, ‘I don’t know how to do it.’ I said, ‘I tell you how you’re gonna do it. You’re gonna go back to probation here today and they’re gonna show you how to do it. And I want you to install that,’” he recalled. “It was his fourth OVI overall. I told him, ’Don’t be stupid.’ Then I got to thinking about it. And I said, ‘Why not do that for everybody?’ So then the following week, I decided to just make it part of the sentence as a condition of probation.”
“I think judges nationwide should order it. I’m not promoting Uber or Lyft. I have no monetary interest in Uber or Lyft,” concluded the judge, before joking, “In the next 20 years, they’ll have self-driving cars anyway so we won’t have to worry about it.”