Arrests for drunk driving in many of California’s major cities dropped in 2016 when compared with the year before. Observations by local law enforcement and data from ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber show that these services may be the reason why.
According to a study done by the University of California and the Moll Law Group, arrests for driving under the influence declined in five major California cities. Arrests dropped by 32 percent in San Diego, 28 percent in San Jose, and 26 percent in Sacramento. Los Angeles and the San Francisco-Oakland area both saw a 14 percent decline in DUI arrests.
Local law enforcement says that ride-sharing services may be the reason for the decline, as they see more ridesharing drivers with intoxicated passengers passing through their checkpoints. The data backs that up. In major cities it has been shown that having too many drinks was the second-leading reason users had for opening a ridesharing app. Difficulty in finding parking was the main reason.
Ridesharing services are also most popular among users on Friday and Saturday nights, the two most popular nights when people head out and have a few drinks. This also points to the fact that it may be ridesharing services that are helping with the decrease in DUI arrests.
Whatever the reasoning is behind it, the drop in DUI arrests is very positive. Not only are people becoming more aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence but providing a service that is decreasing unnecessary exposure to the criminal justice system is unparalleled. According to this latest data, ridesharing services are making a substantial impact and moving in the right direction.
This data may also contribute to tighter drinking and driving laws in California, an idea that has garnered a lot of talk within the state over the last few years. California lawmakers have been considering lowering the blood alcohol limit to 0.04 percent, half of the 0.08 percent it currently is. Ridesharing services are only going to become more popular in the future as more cities implement these services, and more people start using them. As such, that is going to make tightening the laws on DUIs easier than it would have been in the past.
DUI defense attorney Jo-Anna Nieves of The Nieves Law Firm, APC received her Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law. She has successfully defended her clients facing charges such as DUI, sexual assault, and theft. She can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn.