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Uber Availability Does Not Affect Drunk Driving Rates

Aug. 8, 2016

Many Florida residents are familiar with Uber and Lyft, the ride-sharing services that have transformed the taxi and transportation industries. Some people use these ride-sharing services in order to get home after nights out on the town. Uber has long pointed to studies that it says shows that the availability of its services is correlated with a reduction in drunk driving deaths. Another study, however, shows there may not be a relationship after all.

Researchers from Oxford University and the University of Southern California analyzed data from 100 metropolitan areas across the U.S. in order to determine the effect that Uber availability has on drunk driving fatality rates. The researchers controlled for other factors that could also affect the rates, including alcohol taxes, marijuana legislation and others. They additionally looked at data from weekends and holidays separately from the overall numbers.

With all of the additional factors removed, the researchers found that the availability of Uber did not affect the drunk driving fatality rates, either on weekends and holidays or at any other time. The researchers surmised that intoxicated people may not be thinking rationally and may decide they don’t want to spend the money for a ride-sharing service or a taxi. They alternatively surmised that some intoxicated people may make rational decisions to drink and drive because the likelihood of getting caught is fairly low.

A person who is pulled over and is charged with drunk driving may want to get help from a criminal defense attorney who has experience with these types of cases. One defense strategy could be to challenge the constitutionality of the traffic stop that led to the arrest.