Ride-sharing apps like Uber have drastically changed the way that we travel in the United States. It goes without saying that these apps have substantially increased the convenience in our lives by giving us an option to get from one point to another without a car. Now, new data suggests that ride-sharing may be lowering the number of drunk drivers on the road.
According to the study, the number of arrests for DUI in some major cities has fallen dramatically in the years since ride-sharing became prevalent. The study reviewed the number of DUI arrests for the two years before a city approved ride sharing and compared it to the number of arrests in the two years after. The cities studied include:
- Chicago, Illinois
- Denver, Colorado
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Los Angeles, California
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Sacramento, California
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- San Jose, California
- Seattle, Washington
DUI arrests dropped in each of the ten cities studied. The most significant drop was recorded in Las Vegas, where the number of DUI arrests fell 40%. San Diego, Sacramento, and San Jose had their DUI arrest rate drop by roughly 33%. On the other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles and San Francisco experienced a decline of approximately 14%.
While the data reviewed is narrow, there is some reason for optimism on concluding the DUI rate is falling. "It's probably not really high-quality research with control groups and such, but I think the evidence is pretty strong," said the Director of the Institute of Transportation at UC Davis, Dan Sperling. Sperling cites the ease in using these apps as a way to get a ride home as the primary driver for their popularity.
Some Advocates View Data Cautiously
The advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) views the data positively but was quick to temper expectations. The group argues a broad conclusion about the DUI rate can't be drawn from this study given that it only looked at arrest records. MADD readily credits ride-sharing as a great alternative to drunk driving, and the group also recommends planning ahead before going out. But the group isn't ready to declare victory due to the rising rate of drunk driving deaths. For MADD, ride-share apps don't have the same impact that a concerted effort by law enforcement to curtail drunk driving does. “That really is the front line,” said J.T. Griffin, MADD Chief Government Affairs Officer. “So the number arrests going down is actually concerning to us, and that's something we're going to keep a close eye on at MADD.”
Contact a Seattle Washington DUI Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges in the Seattle area, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for help. A former prosecutor, Steve Karimi is an experienced Seattle DUI attorney that can help you develop a strong defense. The consequences for a DUI conviction can be steep, so it's important to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to set up your free consultation.