Many Twin Cities residents have heard of the skyrocketing popularity of “ride sharing” apps such as Uber and Lyft. These companies allow people to use their own vehicles as a means to provide a taxi service, with the entire transaction happening over a cellphone app. Uber and Lyft have been cleared for operation in the Twin Cities area, and it seems likely that their popularity in the area will mirror what happened in San Francisco.
Uber and Lyft have hit the taxi industry hard — but are they making a dent in the drunk driving data as well? According to Uber, they have. But according to the police, it is impossible to measure such an assertion.
According to our source article, DUI arrests in California have dropped since Uber began operations (and Lyft followed suit shortly after that). Some other cities have also experienced a similar phenomenon. However, just because DUI arrests are dropping at the same time that these ride sharing companies are operating does not mean that the ride sharing companies are causing the decline in DUI arrests.
What can’t be denied is that these companies certainly provide a helpful service when it comes to preventing the possibility of drunk driving. They certainly could be partially or fully responsible for these declines in DUI arrests.
But regardless of whether they are or not, there will still be people out there who are accused of and charged with drunk driving. They face serious consequences, and they need to defend their case to the fullest.
Source: LAist, “Uber Says They’re Reducing DUI Arrests, But Police Say There’s No Way To Tell,” Jean Trinh, July 23, 2014