Are Car and Ride Share Services Like Uber Slashing DUI Arrest Rates?

Quickly becoming the world’s largest taxi service without owning a single vehicle of their own, Uber (and other car/ride share services) are completely changing the way that we look at “rides for hire” and the entire industry in general.

And while traditional taxi, car service, and limousine companies are more than a little bit upset at the disruption that companies like Uber have caused (and the fact that those same companies have completely destroyed their stranglehold on an antiquated business model in a short block of time), it’s hard to argue with those that consider Uber and Uber-like services the future of this business. This is especially true when they point to the fact that DUI arrest rates have plummeted since these companies started operating.

What if the easiest way to end drunk driving is to end driving in the first place?

This is a question that companies like Uber and Lyft have been asking themselves almost since they first opened up for business, it is a question that they are answering themselves based upon the success that they’ve had dramatically dropping DUI arrest rates in the cities that they are most popular in. According to statistics pulled from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (amongst other cities where Uber has an expansive presence), the average rate of DUIs has dropped by nearly 26% since 2010 – the very first time Uber offered a ride share in their very first town car.

Other cities (like Boston and Seattle) have noticed even more significant drops in DUI arrest rates, so much so that students in the graduate program at Georgetown are compiling all of the data together to figure out exactly why these rates are dropping – though many of those researchers expect that they already know the answer.

An elegant solution to an inelegant problem

Though there are a significant amount of programs out there specifically targeted at educating drivers to stop driving while under the influence of absolutely ANYTHING, the truth of the matter is many of these programs – programs that have existed for more than a few decades – haven’t had anywhere near the impact that companies like Uber have in a fraction of the time. Traditional cab companies, car services and limousine operators have all complained about the damage that these car/ride share services are doing to their industry, but none of them (NONE of them) have had anywhere near the significant impact on dropping DUI arrest rates that just a handful of disruptive companies have.

Now, there’s obviously something to be said about completely changing the platform of an industry almost overnight in rendering traditional business models (business models that have employed millions and millions of people for decades) nearly obsolete – but that’s what the modern world does.

We are living in one of the fastest pace and quickest moving and adjusting times in human history, and if a couple of eggs have to get broken to make an omelette that finally eliminates drunken-driving forever, is it really such a bad thing?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD is a non-profit organization in Canada and the United States. This organization seeks to stop drunk driving and to help the victims. One of their main motives is also to stop underage drinking. The MADD was founded by Candice Lightner, a woman from California, in 1980. She was in grieved of losing her daughter who was 13 years of age who lost her life in the hands of a drunk driver on 3rd may 1980. This was a case in which the driver left the scene at the corner of New York and Sunset Avenues.

The driver was 46 years old who was later arrested.

A group was formed after the release of movie which was based on Lightner. This group attracted a lot of attention, especially from the congress of the United States. In 1984, the group was successful in the creation of a law that was called the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. The MADD in Canada was founded in 1988 after the accident that took place in Kentucky, The bus disaster that happened in Carrollton, which is considered the most brutal crash the history of U.S. the victims’ parents were highly active members of the group. In 1994 an industry publications, The Chronicles of Philanthropy state that MADD ranked most highly-ranked charity or non-profit organization in America.

Critics and criticism have always been a part of good deed. In 2002, an advocate Radley Balko argued that the policies of MADD are getting overbearing. According to Balko, MADD is a bureaucracy that boasted an annual budget of $ million 45 and out of which $12 million is paid in salaries and other benefits and charity watch gives MAAD a C grade rating.

Along with imposing rules MADD has done a lot more. It made plan that had eight points which included checkpoint rules, laws regarding seat belts, prevention of impaired driving, strictness towards high risk drivers, safety funds, and reduction of underage drinking, increasing excise taxes and court monitoring. MADD tried to reduce the legal limit for alcohol contained blood, which was passed by congress from BAC 10 to BAC 8. In the VIP or the Victim Impact Panel, proposed by the MADD, the judges in the court let the DWI offenders hear the experiences of the drunk and drive victims or their relatives, related to the crashes. Many donate charity as volunteers to help the victims and the family, where as in many states, a fee is charged to attend the program.  MADD received $5,547,693 for the victims from the Victim Impact Panel in the year 2010. It also proposed a Breath alcohol ignition interlock device which should be attached in the cars.

MADD has brought many changes to the daily lives of people. Because of such organization the risk of life has decrease a little as little changes makes big differences. Drivers have become more responsible and parents are stricter towards their children. Drinking and driving has lessened, but it still continues. MADD should also spread to other countries too. Their rules must be taught in schools and colleges because the future lies in the hands of youngsters and it will make them more responsible.