Uber driver gets DUI while heading to pick up passenger

Published: June 9, 2015 6:53 PM EDT
Updated: June 9, 2015 6:54 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A local Uber driver was fired for getting a DUI while on the job.  WINK News uncovered it was his fourth offense.  So, how did he get his job in the first place?

Jessica Fontana says she and her husband use Uber to get around Naples, exclusively.

“The cars are always clean, the people are very friendly, and it’s just easy,” said Fontana.

Deputies say 41-year-old Uber driver Alvaro Guiterrez was driving drunk last Thursday. He was headed to pick up a passenger at the Toys R Us parking lot at Pine Ridge Road and Airport-Pulling Road. Authorities say they even found an empty rum bottle in his glove compartment.

“That is not good, obviously,” said Fontana.

WINK News uncovered Guiterrez had three prior DUIs in Florida. We asked the company how he was allowed to become an Uber driver. A spokesman said their background checks go back seven years and Guiterrez’s was clean. His DUIs were from 1997 and 2003.

“It certainly makes me feel safer if there’s more investigation and vetting,” said Uber customer Kim Matt.

WINK News wanted to know would you be safer taking a cab instead? The answer was no.  Collier County’s background checks for taxi drivers is even more lenient. They only go back three years.

“I think that taxi cab drivers should be under the same restrictions or background checks as everybody else,” said Cathy Stuck, a mom of three.

WINK News asked the county why their policy is so relaxed, but we haven’t heard back from staff members yet.  You can Trust WINK News to stay on top of this developing story.