Hamptons Uber drivers face possible jail time on charges that they violated taxi-licensing law

Uber recently stopped operations in East Hampton, New York because of a new requirement that drivers register a business licence to a physical address in town.

Now, 22 Uber drivers are being arraigned on misdemeanour charges for allegedly violating that law, 27east reports.

The drivers will appear in court on Monday for arraignment on misdemeanour charges and could face a worst-case penalty of up to one year in jail and $US1,000 in fines, 27east reports.

The violations were primarily for drivers who operated in Montauk over the Memorial Day weekend and the following weekend, before Uber’s decision to quit operations on June 5 to comply with the law.

Uber had reportedly encouraged drivers to continue working at that time, despite the new law, and offered to pay any fines levied on the drivers, according to 27east. (An Uber spokesperson did not respond directly to questions from Business Insider about that allegation.)

It was not until attorneys threatened jail time for drivers that the company ultimately stopped operations, according to 27east.

An Uber spokesperson said the company had met with town officials and agreed to leave in exchange for no criminal charges for drivers. The spokesperson says the town later revoked the arrangement.

After its decision to leave East Hampton on June 5, Uber emailed registered riders to tell them they were halting services, and urged them to “Make your voice heard and contact Town Supervisor Cantwell today — tell him you need Uber in East Hampton.”

Asked about the allegation that the town reneged on a deal, assistant town attorney Michael Sendlenski told Business Insider that the attorney’s office does not believe that is accurate, but said he would not comment on pending plea negotiations.

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