The problem with what NYC did, however, was that a driver could be found not guilty of DWI and still have his car seized. There were many complaints regarding due process, uneven applications, etc., and eventually the city abandoned this policy.
I mention this not because I sympathize with drunk drivers (I don't), but because it's not the first time the city has done something like this.
Who knows. It does seem like an easy way to get away with such a crime. In the past it may have been a legit safety concern.
Now with uber it seems safe. Police can track the location of the car, driver and passenger.
Probably has something to do with collecting tax money too. Licensed means it is easier to track taxes. Uber doesn't need the traditional licenses for reporting taxes