Does Ridesharing Help with DUI Rates?

When it comes to reducing instances of driving under the influence, hailing a taxi or other ride-share services such as Uber or Lyft claim to have had an impact. Logic would dictate that revelers and would-be drunk drivers might be less likely to drive drunk if a sober driver was a few taps away on their smartphone. When it comes to actual, statistic data, however, whether Uber or Lyft has actually made an impact is not so clear, as the Bold Italic reports.

People looking into whether these services have actually reduced drunk driving incidents are typically using police data and public health data. However, utilizing such data leaves much up for debate as such numbers often represent only 1% of all drunk driving incidents. As with most companies, both Lyft and Uber pay teams of marketers and statisticians to make people want their services by painting them in a positive light such as showing how they have reduced drunk driving incidents.

One independent study in New York found that when it came to alcohol-related accidents across all five boroughs, the number dropped 25-35% since the introduction of Uber in 2011. Further, a 2015 study in California found that between 2009 and 2014, the introduction of Uber led to a significant drop in alcohol-related motor vehicle homicides. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce agrees, stating that the number of DUI arrests in the city decreased by 42% between 2012 and 2017.

However, these reductions in drunken driving incidents and ride-sharing services must also take into consideration other work that has been done to reduce drunken driving. The raising of the drinking age to 21, awareness campaigns and zero-tolerance laws have probably all impacted the number of DUI incidents in a positive manner.

The truth is that ride-share services are too new and the problem of drunken driving too complex for there to be a definitive study into the correlation of the two.

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