Failed to take action on drunk driving complaints

The California Public Utility Commission found that Uber violated CPUC “zero-tolerance” rules in its handling of 151 complaints, failing to suspend and/or investigate the drivers. In only 22 of 154 complaints did Uber suspend the driver within one hour of a passenger complaint. Furthermore, some of the supposedly-suspended driers were nonetheless able to log in to Uber, respond to ride requests, and provide additional rides.

CPUC further found that, contrary to CPUC rules, Uber failed to implement a “zero tolerance” policy that immediately suspended a driver for a DUI allegation. Instead, Uber’s process had multiple steps and multiple opportunities for error by Uber staff. In contrast, CPUC rules required Uber to suspend the driver before verifying the validity of the complaint.

CPUC also found limited evidence that Uber followed up with passengers to investigate allegations, including Uber failing to follow up in several hours or even a full day after a passenger’s complaint.

In light of these practices, CPUC recommended a penalty of $1.1 million.