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Do Rideshare Apps Like Uber Lower DWI Arrests?

Mar 31, 2017 | DWI, Featured

Here in Chapel Hill, NC we are lucky to have rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft to help people get around safely. Many places in the country still do not have these types of services and it’s important to recognize the role they play. A common statement that gets made around the benefits of these services is that they actually lower DUI or DWI arrests in the areas they operate, but is this actually true? Let’s find out.

Do Rideshare Apps Like Uber Lower DWI Arrests?

While many of us think there is a reasonable and logical conclusion to this question, that is simply, of course it does. A recent major study done by researchers at Oxford University and the University of Southern California published in the American Journal of Epidemiology casts some doubt on whether or not Uber actually does reduce DUI or DWI rates. The study shows that in cities where rideshare apps operate the services had NO EFFECT on drinking-related fatalities and arrests. The information was taken from county-level data in the United States before and after the arrival of Uber and its competitors in those markets. It’s unfortunate that ridesharing services have not made more of a dent into a systemic problem that puts everyone at risk on the road. Drunk driving is the largest cause of traffic fatalities, claiming more 10,000 lives a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) It’s hard not to be affected by stats like this throughout our lives, almost every person knows someone who has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident especially knowing that these are preventable.

What Is The Cause?

This is a hotly debated topic in the industry currently. While the current data supports that Uber does not have an effect drunk driving it’s important to recognize why. The study in American Journal of Epidemiology pointed to several reasons like:

  • Lack of understanding in technology by certain age demographics
  • Cost of rideshare apps (especially at surge times)
  • Low number of drivers in certain areas
  • Not wanting to leave a vehicle
  • Perceived risk of being caught is low
  • Judgment affected by inebriation

All of these reasons play into why DUI rates have not fallen in the study, yet the problem remains. The researchers aren’t ruling out the idea that services like these could have an impact in the future. It might also play a larger role in smaller cities and towns, where there is no public transit system or abundance of taxis. The study focused on large cities.

Are There Any Contradictions  To This Data?

Uber itself is adamant that its service lowers DUI arrests and has published it own data to support this claim. The company proclaims 80 percent of users of Uber say they have used the services to avoid driving after drinking. You also have cities like Austin, Texas who had Uber and Lyft for a few years before their state legislature banned them. Immediately following the expulsion of these services the number of DUI arrests increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year. As we can tell this landscape is constantly changing and it is within reason to assume that services like these will have a positive effect in the long term. As with any new disruptive technology or service it takes time for the full effects to be understood.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged With a DWI In NC?

Here at Matthew Charles Law we understand that mistakes happen and it’s important to protect yourself in the unfortunate event that you are charged with a DWI in NC. Being charged with a DWI in Durham or Chapel Hill, NC is a serious offense and hiring a lawyer is an incredibly important decision. Given today’s political environment, if you are accused of DWI it is imperative that you find an attorney with the experience to test the State’s case and ensure an acceptable outcome is reached. No other charge in NC is as heavily scrutinized as a DWI in NC and having this on your record can cause serious harm to your official reputation. All charges such as a DWI are public record in NC unless expunged by the courts. This can cause extreme harm to your current and future employment and being represented by experienced DWI attorneys like Matthew Charles Law can make a significant difference in your outcome with the state.

Why Should I Choose Matthew Charles Law

Over the years Matthew has defended hundreds of Driving While Impaired cases both in District and Superior Courts throughout the state. As such, Matthew has the skill set and experience necessary to handle your DWI case. Give the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski, PLLC a call today to discuss your case at (919) 619-3242 or visit our DWI page for more information

Charged With A DWI/DUI? Need A Local Lawyer?

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