Background Checks for Uber/Lyft Drivers Mean Fewer Drivers and Unexpected Job Loss

Update 2/22/17: We are getting a number of media inquiries for these stories from multiple outlets. If you are a driver who has been unexpectedly or unfairly dropped due to a background check failure, please call us at (781) 817-6332.

A new background check requirement for rideshare drivers (Uber/Lyft) in Massachusetts is having serious and unexpected consequences for drivers without a perfect driving record, or with some very minor or old criminal incidents. The standards being applied are extraordinarily strict and include non-conviction continuances, which were never meant to follow you for years or decades.

We’ve had quite a few calls from drivers who are shocked to learn they failed the check and are now out of a job. The Commonwealth has pledged to review every ride-hailing drivers background check under this new standard by April 3, 2017, and follow up with routine rechecks of drivers every six months to catch new incidents.

Governor Baker’s stated goal is to make this strict new checks “the most comprehensive in the country”.

But do they go too far? Are we limiting the ability to get work of people with minor incidents from many years in their past? [Read more…]

Protesting Represents The Finest American Values

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is a quote probably misattributed to Thomas Jefferson. But citizens fighting against government overreach and injustice in our institutions is essential to who we are as Americans.

The election of President Donald Trump has prompted widespread concerns about his business interest conflicts and his temperament to be President. And now his Muslim travel ban and his many previous outlandish statements suggest a complete disinterest in how our Constitutional government functions differently than the businesses he has operated.
Protesting american flag

Donald Trump’s statements suggest an unprecedented threat to the 1st amendment, (flag burning,  freedom of the press), the 5th amendment (due process) the 8th amendment (torture), the 14th amendment (equal protection)

Protests have broken out across the nation since election day, and are only intensifying post inauguration and beyond. Protesters are legitimately upset and concerned about his abnormalcy, and extremely divisive rhetoric against groups like Mexicans and Muslims, not simply the fact that he won and people disagree with him.

But if we want to win the argument that Trump is an unprecedented threat to the US Constitution, we should do it while waving the American flag, not burning it. [Read more…]

Marijuana OUI, Risks, and Police Evidence

With marijuana becoming officially legal this week, “driving while high” is the biggest concern for police under the new legalization laws.

Is there going to be a big increase in incidents of operating under the influence of marijuana in Massachusetts? There is no evidence to suggest legalization in other states caused a spike in impaired driving. A to the degree that marijuana OUI is a problem, it is probably something that has already been with us for some time. [Read more…]

Massachusetts Marijuana Laws Under Legalization

On election day, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state. Massachusetts will join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washingon DC, and Washington State who had all previously legalized, along with California, Maine, and Nevada which just passed legalization in this election.

Massachusetts voters have historically supported marijuana laws reform efforts. Back in 2008, we voted to decriminalize possession of under 1oz in down to a civil violation and followed it up in 2012 with an initiative for allowing medical marijuana. So in spite of widespread institutional political opposition, it wasn’t a huge surprise that this passed. [Read more…]

Snapchat and Reckless Driving

The social media app Snapchat is a phenomenon among millennials.  “On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States.” Social media statistics reported in June, 2016 showed that Snapchat has an average daily use base of approximately 150 million. In the same month, it was reported that Snapchat had officially surpassed Twitter in daily user volume. The photo sharing app’s surge in popularity has been nothing short of meteoric.

But there are dark sides to how this app can be used. What is commonly know about snapchat is that “snaps”, i.e. Snapchat posts, mostly images or videos, disappear after 10 seconds, or, in some cases, 24 hours.  There have been many public cases where this ability can be used in cyberbullying, or to send inappropriate or illegal sexually explicit messages.

But recent news reports suggest that the snapchat speed filter that captures a user’s rate of speed in real time may be encouraging extremely dangerous and potentially deadly speeding behind the wheel. [Read more…]