Court docs: Indianapolis Uber driver admits to smoking meth, marijuana before picking up passenger
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – An Indianapolis Uber driver was arrested and accused of OWI and meth possession while working.
The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges of possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony, possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a class C misdemeanor, against Mark Allen Atchison, 56.
On November 10, an officer with the New Whiteland Police Department initiated a traffic stop on Atchison for speeding on U.S. 31 in New Whiteland.
Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle.
Thorneycroft requested that Atchison and his passenger provide him with identification.
Atchison’s backseat passenger told the officer she did not have her identification. She said she was just a passenger and Atchison was her Uber driver.
Atchison confirmed was an Uber driver.
The officers asked Atchison about the smell of marijuana, and he said someone had been smoking in his car earlier in the day. The officer said he was going to conduct a search of the car, and he asked Atchison if he would find anything. Atchison told the officer there was a meth pipe in his car.
While conducting the search, officers found various containers with a white crystal-like substance, white powder residue, and green residue. They also found various devices believed to be drug paraphernalia.
Police say Atchison admitted to smoking meth and marijuana approximately 90 minutes before the officer stopped him.
After conducting field sobriety tests and submitting to a blood draw, Atchison was arrested.
“The purpose of ride sharing is to avoid this exact scenario. I take a dim view of when someone is being responsible and doing the right thing and then endangered by someone else’s actions,” said Prosecutor Joe Villanueva.
A level 6 Felony has a sentencing range of six months to two and a half years with a presumptive sentence of one year and a fine of up to $10,000.
A class C misdemeanor has a sentencing range of zero to sixty days and a fine of up to $500.
An Uber spokesperson issued this statement:
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for any alcohol or drugs on the app, which all drivers agree to when they sign up. After becoming aware of this report, this individual’s access has been removed from the app.”
Uber’s policy states if you suspect your driver to be under the influence you should cancel the ride and ask to get out. It says to call 911 and report them to Uber.