How Uber Has Changed Drunk Driving in California

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The ride-sharing services of Uber and Lyft have, according to multiple sources, had a positive effect on drunk driving arrests in the state of California. This has been especially noticeable in big cities where the ride-sharing services are most common. San Diego has reported a decline in DUI arrests of 32%, while San Jose and Sacramento reported declines of 28% and 26% respectively. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco-Oakland have seen DUI arrests decline 14% since ride-sharing services began in those cities. DUI arrests come with severe penalties so make sure you contact a Santa Ana DUI lawyer if you are charged with an offense.

Ride-sharing came to different cities at different times, with some cities starting in 2009 while others did not begin until 2015. At least 2,400 fewer DUI arrests may be the result of Uber and Lyft drivers being available to pick up people under the influence. Anecdotal evidence from the law enforcement community reports a large increase of Lyft and Uber drivers at DUI checkpoints with intoxicated customers in the vehicle.

The California Landscape for Drunk Driving

The numbers still tell a troubling story regarding drunk drivers in California. While approximately 33% of potential drivers under the influence hail a ride-sharing service, resulting in the decline in DUI arrests, a number of people still get behind the wheel when they should not. (Incidentally, the main reason behind choosing Uber or Lyft is the unavailability of parking.) Other reasons likely contributing to lower levels of DUIs are checkpoints throughout the state, with as many as 832 in 2017. Media campaigns to limit drunk driving also likely play a role.

It is estimated that a DUI charge can add up to nearly $10,000 in fines, penalties and higher insurance rates. The possible suspension of a driving license is also a serious penalty. The right San Jose DUI attorney helps drivers fight the charges and can be effective in reducing or eliminating fines and other negative outcomes.

The Future for Drunk Driving Solutions

The future for California drivers will likely include more checkpoints and media campaigns. There has been talk to lower the blood alcohol limit for DUIs, moving from .08 percent to .04 percent. Other potential precautions include locking mechanisms that prevent drivers who have had a couple of drinks from starting their cars. Both Uber and Lyft know that encouraging people enjoying a night on the town to call their services is a good business model. The companies will likely aggressively promote this service as saving lives and preventing fines and license suspensions.

The statistics show that ride-sharing services have already had a large impact on DUI arrests. This trend extends to other large cities throughout the U.S., with only Las Vegas reporting a larger decline than San Diego and San Jose. For those facing a DUI charge, or any traffic infraction, the services of traffic lawyers are a good way to make sure you have been correctly cited and justice is delivered fairly. Call today for a free consultation and find your best option to fight for your rights.

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