The increasing availability of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft is at least one reason for the drop in DWI arrests in North Carolina over the past five years — especially in the state’s largest metropolitan areas like Raleigh and Charlotte. That’s the conclusion of an investigation by a local Raleigh news team.
An official with Mothers Against Drunk Driving of North Carolina (MADD) agrees. She says, “We do attribute that [decline] to people being able to access…rides.”
Overall in the state, DWI arrests have dropped 30% since 2014. However, in Durham and Charlotte counties, that number is closer to 50%. Nearly all of the areas that saw an increase in arrests during that time are in rural parts of the state where it’s more difficult to find an Uber or Lyft.
The use of ride-sharing services is becoming the norm for many college students. One North Carolina State University student says that her parents put the Uber app on her phone and money in her Uber account. It worked. “If I’m consuming any alcohol, like I’m not taking my car. I’m going to Uber instead.”
Another NC State student says that many young people were already using Uber and Lyft at home — for example, if they don’t want to deal with downtown driving. As for taking your own car when going out for the night, she says, “Why risk it if I know I can pay like maybe $10, and that’s probably what I would pay in parking anyway.”
Bar and restaurants owners are happy to see the increase in customers using ride-share apps. The manager of one establishment says, “It’s just one less thing that we have to worry about…when people are leaving.” He says he regularly sees patrons waiting for their cars to arrive.
While Bolivia may not have as many Uber and Lyft drivers as Raleigh, it’s better to wait for one than to risk driving after you’ve been drinking. The consequences of a DWI arrest — not to mention a crash — are too serious to risk. If you are facing DWI charges, it’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance rather than face the justice system alone.