A taxi driver in Whitehorse, who was charged with impaired driving last week, is still driving a cab. Some critics say that’s shaking people’s faith in taking a taxi, particularly during the holiday season.
Bylaw officers nabbed the driver at a checkstop with a passenger in the backseat.
The city’s bylaw officers legislate taxi drivers. Bylaw Manager Dave Pruden said the city has no jurisdiction to suspend the driver's taxi license.
“They are permitted to drive the vehicle until they're convicted in court.”
Pruden said he’s been with the city for 18 years and has never seen an incident like this before.
“There have not been instances of this taking place in the past. We do feel it's an isolated instance and thus far we have no reason to believe the city or the public is in any kind of jeopardy,” Pruden said.
But Andy Murie, who is with the Whitehorse chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said it's unacceptable that the driver is still picking up fares.
“This person should not be behind the wheel,” he said.
Murie said people expect taxis to get them home safely.
The owner of Premier Cabs, Ken Giam, is concerned the incident is giving all cab companies in Whitehorse a bad reputation.
“People are very judgmental and I would like to say that this unfortunately happened in one particular taxi company.”
Giam thinks a taxi driver association would help keep tabs on so-called bad apples in the industry and prevent similar situations from happening in the future.
“I was shocked, but to a certain extent I expected something like this to happen because bylaw can only do so much,” Giam said. “Bylaw allows drivers to have a badge if they don't have a criminal record but they don't prohibit drivers who have a drinking problem.”
The RCMP has not released the name of the driver or which company he works for.