LOS ANGELES – Since ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft were introduced to LA and Orange counties, they have been welcomed with open arms by residents who celebrated this affordable alternative over calling a cab.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably patronized one of these companies yourself on at least one occasion as most of us have after a night of drinking.
On New Year’s Eve, Uber and Lyft drivers stepped up their game. It was perhaps the biggest drinking night of the year so the drivers and their passengers, were eager to get the New Year’s celebrations started.
That’s exactly what A. Mendez, 19, was doing on Jan. 1 around 1 a.m. She called Uber so she could enjoy a safe night out with friends without having to worry about driving on that crazy evening.
After all, that’s why we call Uber and Lyft, so we can stay safe and reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads. Unfortunately, when Miss Mendez called Uber that night, she didn’t get what she bargained for.
Mendez told CBS Los Angeles that she is really mad because she could have died.
When the Uber driver picked her up, Mendez said that she was immediately uncomfortable with the way he was speeding on local streets.
Concerned, Mendez looked over the driver’s shoulder to see how fast he was going. He was driving 80, and that’s when she told him to slow down, but he didn’t listen.
The next thing she knew, as the Uber driver made a turn from Blanchard Street, he slammed into another car. The car rolled over and Mendez was screaming.
Good Samaritans came to her rescue and pulled her from the mangled vehicle.
LA Uber Driver Fails Field Sobriety Test
When Mendez’ aunt heard that the California Highway Patrol administered a field sobriety test on the Uber driver, she was shocked.
When the CHP arrived, they had the Uber driver do a test where he had to walk in a straight line, but he failed, according to Mendez’ aunt. So, he did a breathalyzer. Once he did the breathalyzer, that’s when the officers cuffed him.
The officer said that the Uber driver was drunk and they were taking him into custody.
According to the CHP, the Uber driver, J. Pablo Garcia, 22, was speeding and later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Mendez was just trying to be safe. She called Uber because she was trying to do the right thing, her aunt said.
In a statement sent to CBS Los Angeles by Uber, the company said that it had a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drugs.
Uber said that it permanently barred Garcia from using the platform and they are grateful that no one was seriously injured in the crash.
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