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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Ride-Sharing Apps & DUIs


September 13, 2017

Ride-sharing apps have skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years. Apps such as Uber and Lyft have made it much easier—and more affordable—for people to get a ride in a hurry. Some people believe these apps have also led to a decline in DUIs. But, is it true? According to Denver criminal defense attorney John Buckley, it depends on the study.

Last year, Uber reported that the presence of their services in major cities across the country had led to a significant decrease in the number of drunk drivers in these areas. The study showed that requests for Uber drivers peaked during the hours that drunk driving accidents are most likely to occur. Uber also claimed to be responsible for a 10% decrease in DUI arrests in Seattle. As soon as Uber made this announcement, many people were skeptical about the results since the research had been paid for by Uber.

But, several independent studies have backed these results. One study looked at four out of the five boroughs in New York City and found that there had been a 25-35% reduction in car accidents involving alcohol since Uber was first introduced in the area in 2011. The study concluded that even though people in New York City have access to other forms of transportation, ride-sharing apps are easier for intoxicated people to use, which is why they are more effective. Read more about Uber and drunk driving prevention.

However, others don’t agree with the results of these studies. The American Journal of Epidemiology conducted a larger study last year to determine if ride-sharing apps really did reduce drunk driving incidents. The researchers looked at data from 100 densely populated counties across the country and were unable to find any data that showed Uber’s presence led to a decrease in DUIs.

The researchers of this study agree that Uber should reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road since it is so easy and convenient to use, however they do not believe that it does. This could be because people who are intoxicated are not thinking clearly enough to remember that ride-sharing apps are an option. Or, it could be because many intoxicated people are not able to comprehend the fact that they are too drunk to drive.

For now, it is unclear whether these ride-sharing apps really do lead to a reduction in the number of drunk drivers on the road. More research is needed in this area in order to reach a more definitive conclusion on the matter.

Using a ride-sharing app to get home is a great way to avoid a DUI if you have been drinking. But, we understand that you may make a mistake and forget about this option. If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.