HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The small Toyota Yaris had a broken windshield and a smashed up front end. On the early hours of Saturday morning, it was wedged in the I-45 underpass at Richey Road in North Harris County.
What caught people's eyes were two stickers on the windshield. One is an Uber logo. The other is a temporary permit for the city of Houston.
Only the driver was inside the car.
Authorities arrested Josiah Plumley and charged him with DWI. Reached over the phone, Plumley says he was not working for Uber when the alleged incident happened.
"I was not online with them. I was not doing any business. There's is not an insurance policy that covers me," he said.
Plumley didn't want to talk about the specifics of his court case, however, he says he does not plan to driver for Uber again. He says he was only signed on with Uber briefly, and had a clean driving record until this weekend.
"They had no record of me doing anything wrong and they never had before this incident," he said. "So therefore they hired me."
An Uber representative told Eyewitness News that Plumley was only on the system for less than a week, and emphasized again that he was not working for the company at any time this past weekend. Uber also said that after Eyewitness News called and asked about the status of the driver, he was permanently taken off the Uber platform today.
The city of Houston says part of the reason it fought for a city-wide licensing policy for drivers separate from Uber is that it will get notified if a city-licensed driver is involved in any driving infraction.
"The way our background checks work we do get notified if something happens, and we can pull their license at any time," said Lara Cottingham, a spokesperson for the city of Houston.
Cottingham notes that Plumley had a temporary city permit to drive for a commercial entity like Uber. That permit is set to expire next week. Plumley, for his part, told Eyewitness News he doesn't plan to be get a permanent permit.
Uber would not give any specifics to Eyewitness News about its notification requirements for drivers. However, both it and the city require drivers to have cars in working order and require drivers to be able to drive legally on the road. Those criteria would be difficult to maintain for anyone facing traffic-related charges.
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