Jacksonville DUI defense attorney Malcolm Anthony applauds the positive developments in the reduction in DUI arrests and DUI accidents attributable to Uber and Lyft.
Jacksonville news website www.firstcoastnews.com has just released the results of a study that indicates smartphone taxi services Uber and Lyft have had a substantial impact in reducing DUI arrests and accidents in the Jacksonville area in the 3 years since the taxi services have been operating. The numbers are impressive, to say the least. From 2011 to 2013, before the start of either company in Jacksonville, there was an average of 1655 DUI arrests each year according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. In the three years following, Jacksonville DWI arrests have fallen an average 25% each year, averaging 1236. Accidents involving DWI have also decreased 14% from an average of 1114 down to 948.
According to a company spokesperson, Uber offers an affordable and reliable alternative to get home safe if one has been drinking. No matter where you are, a designated driver is just a few taps away. Uber has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to make Uber the official designated driving smartphone app to increase safe ride awareness and save lives.
Uber’s positive effect on drunk driving rates is reflected in other parts of the state as well. In Tampa, Florida, the number if DUI arrests fell by 22% in 2015, Uber’s first full year of operation. Politico.com quoted Bill Bales, a professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University as stating that “Uber has had a significant impact on DUI arrests.”
Because of the positive results on DWI statistics in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida, there is a bill that recently passed the Florida Legislature that seeks to roll out the Uber designated driver program statewide. With more and more bars and restaurant patrons becoming aware of the service it is hoped that people will call a Uber of Lyft driver whenever they have had too much to drink and there is much optimism that DUI arrests and accidents will continue to plummet.