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Puke in a Cab, Pay $50 Fee in Chicago

By Andrew Lu on July 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After three years of lobbying, cab drivers in Chicago finally got their wish -- a Chicago cab vomit tax.

When a cab driver gets a call late on a Friday or Saturday night, there's a pretty good chance that the cab driver is picking up an inebriated passenger.

Just how inebriated these passengers are (and just how sturdy their stomachs are) is purely the luck of the draw. Unlucky cab drivers could get stuck with a customer with a weak stomach and too much to drink, leading to puke all over the cab. And prior to this week, Chicago cab drivers were powerless to charge the passengers for the cleanup.

But now that's changed.

Chicago's city council signed off on a regulation that allows cab drivers to charge a $50 cleanup fee to passengers who puke in a cab, reports the Chicago Tribune. The regulation went into effect Sunday. (Cab drivers had originally lobbied for a $75 fee, but $50 should be enough to clean up a cab.)

Chicago was one of the first U.S. cities to consider a cab vomit fee, but it took the city council some time to act. Meantime, similar fines were enacted in other cities known for partying like Austin, Texas, and Savannah, Ga., according to the Tribune.

Being a Chicago cab driver can be a messy job. You have to deal with rush hour traffic, rude customers, and occasionally a Chicago cab driver has to clean up puke and vomit. With the new regulation now in effect, cab drivers can now charge their customers a fee for puking in their cab.

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