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Has Ride-Sharing Decreased DUI Arrests?

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Has Ride-Sharing Decreased DUI Arrests?A recent study by the University of California at Davis and a research firm discovered that arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have decreased in many major California cities. Researchers found that DUI arrests decreased during a two-year period by:

  • 14 percent in the San Francisco-Oakland area;
  • 14 percent in Los Angeles;
  • 26 percent in Sacramento;
  • 28 percent in San Jose; and
  • 32 percent in San Diego.

Researchers hypothesized that increased use of ride-sharing services may be part of the reason for the decrease, a claim that companies such as Uber have touted for years. The time period of the study corresponded with the introduction of ride-sharing services in some of the cities. However, there is not a clear causation between the use of ride-sharing services and DUI arrest statistics.

How Ride-Sharing Helps

Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are encouraging ride-sharing as a safeguard against committing a DUI offense. Potential drunk drivers have long been able to call taxi cabs for a safe drive home. However, ride-sharing services are more convenient to use because they are connected to mobile apps. Ride-sharing may have the greatest effect on preventing drunk driving in areas where the service is already common, such as:

  • High-population cities;
  • Areas with a dense population;
  • Areas with limited parking availability; and
  • Areas where the topography makes parking difficult.

Reasons for Skepticism

It seems logical that ride-sharing will decrease drunk driving, but not all research data points to that conclusion. Some studies have shown:

  • Some major cities do not have a significant decrease in DUI arrests after the introduction of ride-sharing services;
  • Removing and then reintroducing a ride-sharing service in a major city did not always cause a decrease in DUI arrests; and
  • A decrease in DUI arrests did not include a decrease in traffic collisions involving serious injuries.

There are also multiple factors that can change the DUI arrest rate, including public education and police enforcement practices. While it is reasonable to conclude that ride-sharing has prevented some DUI arrests, more studies are needed to determine how much of an effect ride-sharing has had on overall DUI arrest numbers.

Defending Against DUI Charges

Finding a safe ride home is the best way to avoid being arrested for DUI. However, there is still hope if you choose to drive and are arrested. A San Francisco DUI defense attorney at Burglin Law Offices, P.C., understands effective ways to contest DUI charges. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-729-7300.



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