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Ride-sharing apps do not affect drunken driving fatality rates

On behalf of Platt Hopwood Attorneys at Law PLLC posted in Drunk Driving on Thursday, August 4, 2016.

In Florida, as in other states, drunk driving poses a deadly danger, and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have made claims that they increase safety. Studies about fatalities from drunken driving in places where the ride-sharing companies operate do not make clear conclusions. Some show a positive influence, but a recent publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed no change in the rate of fatalities.

Uber partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to survey people. Based on anecdotal evidence of what respondents believed, the survey indicated that the ride-sharing service reduced the likelihood of people driving while intoxicated. When Providence College and Stonehill College looked at the issue, researchers concluded that the presence of ride-sharing services decreased deadly car crashes.

As for the investigation found in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers dug deep into data from 100 metropolitan areas across the nation. They adjusted the numbers to account for variations in state laws. After they separated the total traffic deaths attributed to alcohol from fatalities on weekends and holidays, they concluded that Uber produced no reduction in roadway deaths. The authors of the study speculated that an intoxicated person might not have the rationality to make a good decision or pay for a ride instead of driving drunk.

Traffic stops of suspected drunk drivers remain commonplace. A person arrested for driving while intoxicated could face criminal charges and lose driving privileges. In this situation, a person has a right to consult an attorney before entering a plea in court. An attorney could review the case report and potentially challenge evidence if mistakes were made with the administration of the sobriety test. Negotiations for a light a sentence might also be conducted by an attorney.

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