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Police catch, fine Uber drivers at Helsinki sobriety checkpoints

Special police drunk driving checkpoints over this past weekend caught nearly 20 intoxicated drivers. The checks also resulted in fines for more than 10 drivers of illegal taxi services, many of them working for chauffeur service Uber.

Image: Yle Keski-Suomi / Isto Janhunen

The police's weekend-long roadside checkpoints intended to catch drunk drivers also caught more than 10 drivers of illicit taxis, many of whom were working for the internet-based chauffeur service Uber.

Helsinki police said that they uncovered 11 cases of drunk driving during expanded roadside checks over the weekend, including two cases of aggravated drunk driving. During a similar raid last year, some 16 drunk drivers were taken off the roads.

During the raids however, more than 10 illicit taxi drivers were discovered on the roads and given fines, many of whom belonged to the internet chauffeur service Uber.

"Choose a taxi with a yellow light"

Helsinki Police Lieutenant Heikki Kallio advised the public only to use genuine taxi services.

"If we find an Uber taxi we'll stop it, give the driver a fine and the passenger's trip is over on the spot," Kallio said. "We encourage riders to take another form of transportation – walk or use public transport."

"If you plan on using a taxi you should choose one with a yellow light on the roof, those are the only legal taxis," Kallio said.