Uber driver terminated after On Your Side investigation

On Your Side Investigates: Uber driver DWI

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The ride sharing service Uber said it terminated a driver after an On Your Side investigation.

WBTV started asking questions this week about Vitaliy Teymurov, who was cited for driving on a revoked license on May 21, 2015.

Court records show Teymurov's license was revoked in January after he was charged with Driving While Intoxicated.

According to court documents, police officers cited Teymurov with DWI after responding to an accident at 6:30 a.m. on New Year's Day. Records show a blood alcohol test came back with a .22 BAC.

Teymurov was cited for driving on a revoked license and running a red light in March. Those charges resulted in a plea deal. Court records show he was supposed to pay a $190 fine.

Teymurov was again cited for driving on a revoked license on May 21.

On Your Side Investigates began asking questions about why Teymurov was allowed to drive a car for Uber with pending charges after the most recent citation.

A spokesman for Uber said the company was not aware of the DWI charges until our questions.

"The driver's access to the Uber platform was immediately removed after learning of the recent charges," Taylor Bennett said.

Teymurov's court date for both the May 21 citation and his DWI charge is June 18, 2015. He has not been convicted of the charges.

All Uber drivers are subjected to a background check when they sign up to drive for the service. Questions about whether or not Uber conducts any periodic, follow-up reviews of drivers' records went unanswered on Friday.

The debate over how and whether to regulate ride sharing services such as Uber has dragged out over recent years in both the state capitol and at city hall.

A state law that took effect in 2013 prohibits local governments from regulating dispatching services, including Uber. That means the Charlotte City Council cannot pass its own regulations for app-based ride sharing services.

A group of lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate are currently working on a bill that would regulate ride sharing services.

Sen. Jeff Tarte (R-Cornelius) is a con-sponsor Senate Bill 541, which would regulate ride sharing services.

"I think there's no question that if we're going to see a paradigm shift on how we transport passengers in a for-hire situation, Uber and Lyft are a new way to do that and they're going to need to do background checks in every case," Tarte said.

In Charlotte, taxi drivers are required to pay a $30 fee and pass a background check once a year to renew their license.

The same requirements--or any regulation--cannot be applied to Uber drivers until the general assembly takes action.

"It should be equal and the same whether we're doing professional truck drivers, whether we're doing cab companies, whether we're doing Uber drivers," Tarte said. "Any time you're transporting, in this case people, we need to insure, and have some obligation to insure, that we've looked into, and are providing the safest environment for those passengers."

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