ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A new study is confirming what many people have suspected – that rideshares like Uber and Lyft are reducing instances of drinking and driving.
What You Need To Know
- A University of Texas health study has found that rideshare services have helped reduce DUI convictions
- Experts believe the study is an indication of what is happening across the country
- FHP reports seeing the biggest decreases in DUI arrests in urban areas where ridesharing is most accessible
A University of Texas health study has found that traffic-related trauma cases and DUI convictions are significantly down thanks to rideshares — especially with people 30 and younger.
Dan Marquith said he was only a child 30 years ago when his uncle was killed in a DUI crash on I-95 in Brevard County, but he still remembers the impact that had on his family.
“I saw the pain my grandmother went through as a career nurse, but had to make the decision to remove her oldest son from life support,” said Marquith, now Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Central Florida.
And that’s what inspired him to become a sheriff’s deputy where he worked to catch drunk drivers. Now mostly retired from law enforcement, he represents MADD in Central Florida.
He believes the study reflects how rideshares are reducing DUIs everywhere.
“I 100% believe that is just a sampling of what’s going on across the nation,” said Marquith.
Lt. Kim Montes with Florida Highway Patrol agrees.
“We think those younger people are taking advantage of those rideshares,” said Montes. “We’ve seen some of our DUI arrests go down in certain areas.”
Montes says FHP is seeing the biggest decreases in DUI arrests in urban areas where ridesharing is most accessible.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office shared data that shows a steady decrease in DUI arrests each year since 2015 — about the same time ridesharing became widely available. Those numbers show a nearly 60% drop, even before the pandemic began in 2020.
“The easiness of how they can get a rideshare, for those in their group where someone doesn’t want to be the designated driver,” said Montes. “And we would hope this would continue.”
Marquith hopes it will continue so fewer families have to go through what his family still does.
“Every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every birthday that’s gone by, the pain is still there, the loss is still there,” he said.