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DECREASE IN DUI ARRESTS IN URBAN AREAS ATTRIBUTED TO RIDE SHARING APPS IN CALIFORNIA

 

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog postciting studies that indicate ride sharing apps are responsible for a decrease in  drunk driving crashes for drivers under the age of 30 and another blog postabout studies that suggested ride sharing apps have had no impact on the incidence of drunk driving fatalities. Now recent studies conducted by the University of California and a national personal injury law firm show a significant decrease in DUI arrests in major California urban centers in the years since ride sharing has become a thing.

The decrease in DUI arrestsin urban areas is remarkable. San Diego has seen a 32% decrease after ride sharing, San Jose, a 28 percent decrease, Sacramento, a 26 percent decrease, and San Francisco and Los Angeles both saw a 14 percent decrease.  These decreases are not confined to California. Large cities across the county report significant decreases in DUI arrests. And party-city, Las Vegas, has seen the largest decrease in DUI arrests: down nearly 40 percent.

The study estimates that 33 percent potential drunk drivers chose ride sharing instead. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that more drivers are choosing ride share if they intend to drink. For instance, traffic enforcement units report a substantial increase in ride share drivers at DUI checkpoints.

While the studies simply looked at the number of DUI arrests in the years before ride sharing through the years after ride sharing (these were different years for different cities because not every city got ride sharing at the same time), the conclusion that ride sharing is responsible for the decline is speculative.  After all, correlation does not equal causation. But it’s a safe speculation. One way this could be further tested is to compare DUI arrests trends in major urban areas with ride share readily available to the trends in rural towns where ride share may not be available or widely used.

Taxi cabs have always been available, long before ride sharing came to the fore. Why would ride sharing account for a decrease in DUIs when taking a cab would not? Ride sharing is seamless. All a rider must do is press a “button” on the face of his or her phone and it’s done. No fiddling with money or credit cards, no speaking with a dispatcher, heck, the rider doesn’t even need to know where he or she is located-the ride sharing app does the locating. You might say even a drunk person can hail a ride without any effort. Ride shares usually arrive faster than taxi cabs and they are generally quite a bit cheaper. All these features have conspired to get drunk drivers in the back seat of a stranger’s car instead of behind the wheel.

Orange County DUI defense attorney encourages anyone who intends to be drinking to use a ride share or designated driver. But if you didn’t make that choice and have found yourself arrested for DUI, Attorney Weinberg can be a forceful advocate on your side. You may contact him for a complimentary consultation regarding your options in your DUI case by calling him at 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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