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Is Uber Really Preventing Drunk Driving?

 Posted on September 07, 2017 in Uncategorized

Around the country, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have become immensely popular, especially among younger adults. It is very easy to open a smartphone app, tap a few times, and have a car arrive to pick you up exactly where you are. These services have proven to be extremely convenient, even in cities with reliable mass transportation like Chicago. Unlike the “L,” Uber and Lyft offer door-to-door service, and it is often much quicker and cheaper to call an Uber than it is to find a taxi. But, what about Uber’s claims that the service is reducing drunk driving in the areas it serves? Is there any truth to them?

The real answer is that it is hard to say for sure. While there are indications that drunk driving fatalities have gone down in many cities, there are countless variables to consider, and the arrival of Uber is merely one.

Conflicting Studies

A recent study from the City University of New York found that since Uber began service in New York City in 2011, there has been a drop in alcohol-related accidents of up to 35 percent compared to areas not served by Uber. That is not an insignificant number, especially considering the immense population of the Big Apple. That study’s author acknowledged that the trends point to Uber helping the nation’s drunk driving issues but said that more evidence is needed to prove it.

In a separate study, published last year, researchers examined 100 high-population counties in the U.S. and found no link between the arrival of Uber and the number of traffic deaths. The author of that study surmised that the lack of a link may be due, in part, to the fact that the overall number of Uber users is rather small compared to the total number of drivers in a particular area. Uber might be making a huge difference among those who use it, but the numbers may not be large enough to show up in big-picture research yet.

Personal Responsibility

Despite its immediate availability, using Uber to prevent the risk of a DUI often requires planning ahead. For example, if you and a group of friends decide to go out in downtown Chicago, you should decide how you are getting home before you go. If you are going to be drinking, do not risk having your car nearby. It will only offer a temptation for you to drive home. Too often, the thought of leaving a car overnight in a parking garage or surface lot persuades individuals to get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink. Instead, use Uber or public transportation as you go out so that your options are safely limited for getting back.

Facing a DUI Charge?

The best way to avoid an arrest on charges of DUI is to not drive while impaired. However, if you are facing such charges, your next step should be to contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we understand the law, and we will work with you in exploring your available options. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

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