Everyone loves a Saturday night out with friends. Enjoying the nightlife, hopping between bars, stopping for greasy, late-night food; it’s the type of experiences that friendships are built on. As the night winds down, you realize you had one too many to safely drive home safely. What do you do now? If you’re like a growing number of people, you ping a ride-sharing app, like Uber or Lyft.
Ride-sharing apps have built considerable momentum over the last few years for their convenience and relatively low cost. Now, new data out of Florida indicates that these services are not only handy, but they appear to be reducing the number of DUI arrests.
More sober rides, less arrests
According to The Miami Herald, DUI arrests made by the Miami-Dade Police Department dropped an incredible 65% in 2017 versus the previous 4 years. From 2013 to 2015 the department averaged over 1,500 DUI arrests annually. In 2017, only 594. The Miami Police Department saw a 31 percent decrease, from 461 to 321.
While this study was localized to the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County, it has nationwide implications. If a city with nightlife as well-known as Miami has seen such a drop, there’s no reason the same couldn’t be seen in Philadelphia, Washington or Baltimore.
Plenty of drivers still getting arrested
While this data can be seen as a positive from a public safety standpoint, from the standpoint of local drivers — not much has changed. Yes, people are using Uber and other ride-sharing apps more, but police are still out just as much looking for drunk drivers. Do not think that police are becoming more relaxed on DUI enforcement. They are not. And, while these apps are gaining in popularity, not everyone uses them – or even feels comfortable using them, which is understandable.
For young people in the Baltimore area, a first-time DUI offense also still carries the possibility of the same harsh penalties. You could lose your license, wind up in jail and have up to eight points added to your license.