Judge Orders DUI Offenders to Download Lyft and Uber Apps

Posted On: July 12th, 2017 by Bradley J. Groene

When it concerns individuals convicted of drunk driving and the penalties they receive, a local Municipal Court judge in Ohio has taken a unique approach. Judge Michael Cicconetti of Painesville, OH has implemented a requirement as part of the punishments he imposes upon those convicted of a DUI – he requires them to download the Uber and Lyft ride-hailing apps to their smartphones. The use of such apps at the right time has the potential to help an individual avoid legal trouble and the need to contact a Cincinnati DUI lawyer.

The judge adds this requirement to the other standard penalties he imposes on DUI offenders, such as suspending drivers’ licenses and levying fines. As a condition of probation, Cicconetti requires convicted offenders to download the apps and set up the associated accounts with a credit card. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for individuals under the influence to call for a ride through one of these services instead of getting behind the wheel and risking their own life and the lives of the general public.

If you are currently facing a possible conviction on a DUI charge, it’s important for you to know your legal rights and have experienced legal counsel on your side. Cincinnati DUI lawyer Brad Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates has extensive experience representing DUI clients in Ohio. He can work skillfully and vigorously on your behalf to minimize the charges against you.

Call us today at (513) 338-1890 to set up a free initial consultation.

A Possible Tool to Prevent a DUI Incident

According to statistics provided by the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in 2015 more than 10,000 people lost their lives and 290,000 were injured as a result of alcohol related accidents on U.S. roadways.

According to the Willoughby News-Herald, Judge Cicconetti believes the technology provided through Uber and Lyft apps is a common sense solution that is much safer than driving drunk, and is also a less expensive option than the thousands of dollars spent in the wake of a drunk driving arrest.

The initial inspiration for this approach came to the judge through an incident he dealt with involving a repeat DUI offender. Although Judge Cicconetti was unable to keep the man from drinking, he could provide him with a means that prevented him from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. After seeing the man out drinking at a local establishment, the judge suggested that he get a ride home through Uber or Lyft.

When the judge informed the local media about the new requirement he was including in his DUI rulings, he stated:

“If you can save one person from getting another OVI, one person from getting into an accident, one person from hurting somebody else, it makes sense. It’s just common sense. It doesn’t cost anybody anything to install it and activate it.…”

Judge Cicconetti has a reputation for applying original approaches to sentencing. For instance, he ordered a cab fare evader to walk 30 miles within a 48-hour timeframe as a substitute for spending 60 days in jail. He also ordered someone found guilty of speeding in a school zone to put in some work as a crossing guard. As well, he ordered a convicted DUI offender to view in person at a hospital or coroner’s office the bodies of car crash victims.

DUI Prevention Technology

This new requirement set forth by Painesville Judge Cicconetti is one of the latest ideas implemented by authorities across the nation regarding the use of mobile technology to prevent the problem of drunk driving. Many states already require first-time DUI offenders to have a breathalyzer installed in their vehicles. This requirement prevents the ignition from starting the car if the breathalyzer detects a certain prohibited level of alcohol in the driver’s breath.

Although the Uber and Lyft apps provide to those who are under the influence of alcohol an easy way to obtain transportation home in lieu of attempting to get behind the wheel, it is up to the person whether or not they access one of these services at that crucial moment.

Contact an Experienced Cincinnati DUI Lawyer

If you have been pulled over and charged with a DUI you may be facing some severe penalties that include possible jail time. At a time like this, you need a highly skilled and experienced Cincinnati DUI attorney to go over your options with you and begin the process of building a legal defense on your behalf in order to reduce the penalties you are facing. Attorney Brad Groene at Luftman, Heck & Associates is a trusted legal advocate who understands what you are facing right now and can help.

Contact us today at (513) 338-1890 to set up a free case evaluation.