Uber driver among impaired drivers in York during holiday season

Published: January 4, 2019

Updated: January 6, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, 22 motorists in York were charged with Impaired driving, according to York Regional Police. The number is perhaps not surprising considering the busy holiday season usually brings a spike in impaired driving. However, one surprise may be that an on-duty Uber driver was among the 22 charged.

York Regional Police say the driver was caught after they received a call from a citizen on New Year’s Eve reporting a possible drunk driver. The Uber driver had pulled into a parking lot and was picking up a passenger when he was arrested.

Speaking to CTV Toronto, Const. Laura Nicolle said this seems to be the first time and on-duty driver working for a ride-sharing company has been arrested and charged with impaired driving. The driver was named as Dennis Romanin, a 55-year old from Whitchurch-Stouffville. He was charged with impaired driving and have a blood alcohol concentration over 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.

York Regional Police named the driver as part of their ongoing campaign to name drivers charged with impaired driving every Monday.

“Unfortunately, we really are seeing the impaired drivers we’re arresting at various ages,” Nicolle said. “It seems to be pretty widespread.”

The fact an Uber driver was caught on New Year’s Eve raises some questions. Several groups have pointed to Uber as a sober alternative to impaired driving on major holiday nights during the year. Like any other motorist, ride-sharing drivers are fallible, and some will disobey the laws.

It will be interesting to see a response from Uber to see how the company attempts to prevent drivers from breaking traffic laws. We reached out to the company and will update if there is a response.