It is hard to go out for a night on the town these days without someone mentioning Uber, Lyft, or Side Car – the three most popular app-based taxi services out there. The services were initially founded to easily connect drivers to their clientele, potentially avoiding that awkward feeling everyone gets when stepping into a taxi cab. However, recently collected data suggests that something even better is stemming from the rise in popularity of these social applications.
Several cities in which these services are available are reporting dramatic drops in driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and drunk driving accidents. Seeing as how the services did not gain much momentum until 2012, only three years ago, to already see a decline in DUIs is a great accomplishment.
For an example of progress that is being seen, San Francisco police only made two DUI arrests on New Year’s Eve 2014; Philadelphia has enjoyed an 11% drop in DUI incidents since the car-ride services began there in 2013, with nearly a 19% decrease found in drivers under the age of 30; and in Los Angeles, Uber usage seems to spike between midnight and 4 AM, which are traditionally the peak hours of DUI arrests.
Is Correlation Really Causation?
At this point, it is difficult to tell if Uber, Lyft, and others really are directly causing these drops in dangerous driving behaviors. Until more studies are conducted and perhaps on a broader scale, much of what is being seen is purely speculation based on correlation. However, the evidence for the study is strong and encouraging.
Experts agree that if more cities start using the service, drunk driving accidents and arrests could decline in a similar fashion. If a nationwide drop was experienced, theoretically billions of dollars could be saved and hundreds of lives could be spared annually.
In the meantime, if you have been arrested for drunk driving in Miami, contact my firm, Jonathan Blecher, P.A., for the legal assistance you need. I have more than 30 years of experience handling DUI cases in Florida and a strong reputation as a powerful advocate that is not afraid to fight for my clients’ rights. Call 305.707.0036 today.