In two separate reports from entrepreneur.com and nj.com a research paper titled “Show Me The Way To Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide,” by researchers at Temple University ran an analysis and found that use of car-sharing services, and Uber in particular, led to a decrease in the number of homicides from drunken driving.
The data from 2009 through 2014 in California, Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal of the Fox School of Business said they found that Uber’s entry into a market reduced DUI deaths, depending on the service. Use of Uber X led to between a 3.6 percent and a 5.6 percent reduction in alcohol-related driving homicides. In their conclusion, the professors concede that the study was confined to data out of California, but the overall benefit from a larger implementation of services like Uber and Lyft mean saved lives and less cost to taxpayers.
The subject of Uber and DUI reduction was recently highlighted in a story out of Tampa, Florida. WLFA On Your Side reports the number of DUI arrest made by Tampa Police has dropped dramatically this year. For the first six months of 2014 TPD made 1124 DUI arrests. In the same period in 2015 they made 776 arrests for driving while intoxicated. And Uber could be one of the reasons.
Even Uber jumped on the bandwagon with a clever way of taking away excuses for people who are too drunk to drive home. Huff Post reports in Toronto Uber set up a breathalyzer kiosk and invited revelers to test how drunk they were. Passersby were asked to blow into the breathalyzer, labeled “Uber Safe,” through a straw for six seconds. It would then analyze the alcohol content on their breath and offer a ride if they were too drunk to drive themselves.
Uber has also tackled the issue of drunk driving by partnering with Breathometer, a smartphone breathalyzer, by offering free rides to users of the mobile tool who had just started using Uber. Engadget.com reported people who used the rideshare company were also given a 10 per cent discount on some of its products.
So Uber may very well an alternative available to a potential Santa Barbara drunk driver who wants to avoid becoming one of the Santa Barbara DUI statistics.
As a Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer I have yet to hear from a client that they considered Uber as an alternative before hopping into the driver’s seat. A few clients commented in retrospect how much better it may have been had they chose Uber. The Yelp reviews for Uber in Santa Barbara appear mixed; “I love Uber Santa Barbara,” “ For Santa Barbara, I’ve had almost a 100% excellent experience”,” “ This was a really weird experience,” “ I think I’m going to take the bus next time,” “It’s been hit and miss with Uber,” and “The quality of the service has very much gone down in a few weeks/months.”
So what do you think?
Facing a DUI in Santa Barbara is a horrifying experience. If Uber or any other alternative did not work out, and you were arrested for DUI, you need to consult Kenneth M. Hallum, a Santa Barbara DUI Attorney. You need to know your rights, options, and defenses.