Reducing Drunk Driving With Uber
In Arizona and around the United States, ridesharing taxi alternatives like Uber, Lyft, and Fare have been taking the country by storm. With exceptional apps, quick driver responses, attractive coupon codes, and usually cheaper rates than taxis, online transportation services are becoming the norm for those without vehicles or partygoers who want a safe ride home. Uber especially has become the alternative to the designated driver and has been critically acclaimed as a safer alternative for inebriated barhoppers as opposed to public transportation and taxis. But have DUIs actually reduced since Uber has come to infamy? You may be surprised-- DUI lawyers are singing Uber’s praises as well.
Uber is taking initiative in reducing DUIs and drunk driving
Uber worked with anti-drunk driving organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2015, commissioning a legitimate study on the link between Uber and drunk driving. The study concluded that DUI arrests and drunk driving accidents decreased significantly in areas of the United States, including Phoenix, Arizona, where Uber has a strong presence and availability. In California specifically, a state where Uber started out and has become the biggest Uber hotspot, drunk driving accidents and crashes dropped by nearly sixty per month among drivers under thirty years old in areas of the state where Uber’s uberX option had launched. Uberx is Uber’s low-cost basic ridesharing option. That means nearly 1800 crashes had been prevented in California between July 2012 and 2015, with even more preventions since then.
Does Uber actually reduce drunk driving?
Despite the boasted statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber, the American Journal of Epidemiology released an additional study that somewhat denied the statistic’s claims. Their statistical study claimed that DUI related fatalities on weekends and holidays in some of the most populated cities in the United States remained nearly the same, with little to no significant reductions in drunk driving deaths after the launch of Uber and other ridesharing companies. It is likely that the reasoning behind these findings rely on the judgement of drunk people. When it comes to drinking and driving, most inebriated individuals while not have accurate judgement in mind when it comes to get home. Thus, they are less likely to drunkenly try to figure out their Uber or Lyft app and may opt to dangerously drive home themselves. Just as well, inebriated individuals may decide that the ridesharing service is too expensive and that they are fine to just drive home on their own.
Uber’s spokespeople shot back at the researchers at the University of Southern California and Oxford University for their study findings, claiming that the ridesharing app remains a great alternative to dangerous drunk driving. Uber claimed that rider traffic increasing during typical periods of heavy drinking, such as holidays and weekend nights, and that nearly eighty percent of riders have personally commented that Uber has helped them avoid drinking and driving.
This sort of political banter between Uber and professional researchers does not necessarily mean that Uber is a scam or not a worthwhile tool in preventing drunk driving, however.
How can Uber improve, and how can riders improve those drunk driving statistics?
Mesa DUI lawyers agree that while Uber may not be actually making as big of a mark on reducing drunk driving as they claim, they still remain a hugely important tool for reducing DUIs and has the potential to be a big turning point in the drunk driving epidemic.
Many drinkers enjoy drinking in a social setting, such as a party or bar. This is obvious, of course-- why else would Uber have such high traffic during times when people are drinking socially, if they didn’t have to go back home safely? Since drunk patrons can often be stubborn and make poor decisions when drunk, they are more likely to opt to drive instead of ordering an Uber. This is where friends and family can come in. If we can create a social culture where drunk driving is truly vilified and friends will convince their inebriated friends to get an Uber (or purchase one for them via their own app) then ridesharing apps can really become a major tool in preventing drunk driving.
Responsibility should also fall on Uber, as well. Many taxi companies in recent decades have worked with local governments and nonprofits to provide weekend services during late-night hours where many people are socially drinking and ready to leave (between about 1am to 4am) at a low cost or no cost at all. Should Uber try to reduce its pricing during this time in a similar drunk driving prevention initiative program, drunk patrons may be more likely to order an Uber instead of getting behind a wheel.
I need a DUI lawyer in Arizona, where should I look?
Look no further than My AZ Criminal Defense Lawyers, PLLC. We are a professional limited liability company with a long history in DUI law, criminal defense, and bankruptcy law. If you have been affected by a drunk driving incident or are facing serious DUI charges, give us a call today to see how we can help you. My AZ Criminal Defense Lawyers, PLLC boasts a team of specially trained and experienced DUI lawyers in Mesa who can help you with your particular DUI situation.
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