Ride-sharing apps do not appear to reduce drunk driving

Uber, a company with a ride-sharing app that allows people to hire independent drivers, claims that its service prevents drunk driving. Although many Illinois residents have likely used the service after having had too much to drink, the ride-sharing service does not appear to be reducing the numbers of alcohol-related traffic deaths.

University researchers examined data from 100 of the most populous metropolitan areas in the country. They looked at drunk driving deaths before and after Uber and similar companies began operation in an area. Their report concluded that no measurable effect had resulted from the introduction of ride-sharing apps.

The researchers speculated that cost prevented intoxicated people from taking advantage of either a cab company or a ride-sharing service. Because the chance of getting pulled over for drunk driving is low, someone who has been drinking might decide that the cost of a ride is not worth it. In other instances, an intoxicated person might not have the rational capacity to make a good choice and not drive.

Although drunk driving occurs much more often than law enforcement is able to detect it, people still do get arrested for it every day. A person detained by the police for drunk driving could receive a DUI charge. Because this is a criminal offense, the person has a right to legal counsel. An attorney could evaluate the arrest report to see if the person's rights were violated. An unlawful stop or incorrectly administered sobriety test might provide a reason for an attorney to challenge the charges. A dismissal of the case or a reduction in charges might then be possible. In other situations, an attorney might negotiate for a lenient sentence or guide the person through the process of regaining driving privileges.

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