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Ride-sharing services may be reducing Florida DUIs

Some Florida drivers may be more likely to use a ride-sharing service than drive drunk, and this could be responsible for fewer people in the Miami area being taken into custody for driving under the influence. Miami-Dade is the Southeast’s largest police department, and the incidence of DUI there dropped 65 percent in 2017. From 2013 to 2015, over 1,500 people were taken into custody each year while in 2017, the number dropped to 594. In Miami, there was a decrease of 31 percent.

While companies such as Lyft and Uber seem to be at least partly responsible for the drop, experts point to other factors as well such as a public that is better-educated about the dangers of drinking and driving. In some places, law enforcement has been more proactive.

A few studies have looked at the impact of ride sharing services on DUIs, but the effect is not entirely clear. A 2017 study that examined four cities found that DUIs dropped in Portland, Oregon and San Antonio but were not affected much in Reno and Las Vegas. This could be because these two cities have so many tourists who are walking or using taxis or public transit. A 2015 study by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Uber found a 6.5 percent decrease in drunk-driving wrecks for people under 30.

People who are facing DUI charges may think that the charges are not very serious or that they have no choice but to plead guilty. They may want to talk to an attorney about the situation. There may be avenues of defense available such as questioning the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test or challenging the traffic stop itself.