Can Uber Actually Reduce DUIs in Pennsylvania?

Can Uber Actually Reduce DUIs in Pennsylvania


  • 4,663 people were killed in drunk-driving related crashes in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2012.
  • Men were more likely to be involved in fatal accidents in 2012.
  • 1.8 percent of drivers admitted to operating their vehicle after having drank too much.

Drunk driving remains a problem, despite campaigns to curtail the behavior. In the state of Pennsylvania, a driver is considered too impaired to drive once their blood alcohol content reaches 0.8 percent or higher.

For some people, this means a few drinks consumed within a couple of hours. For others, it means only one or two. There are too many variables when it comes to blood alcohol content to know how high you will register. The best idea is this: If you have a single adult beverage, don’t drive.

Many people claim that they have driven while impaired simply because they had no other way to get home. While this may have been true in the past, ride sharing services like Uber make catching a ride home and then back to your car in the morning as easy as tapping your phone.

Uber has reported that cities that have welcomed its services have experienced a decline in the number of DUIs on record. Is it true? It depends on which study you believe.

In One Corner: Uber Reduces DUIs

According to one independent study conducted in New York City, Uber arrived in town in 2011. Since the ride-sharing service began its operations, alcohol-related crashes have been reduced by as much as 35 percent when compared to areas where Uber isn’t available.  That means there are about 40 fewer car accidents each month.

In the Other Corner: Uber Has No Effect

Another study says that the availability of Uber makes no difference. Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2016, the report said that there was no correlation between the total number of traffic fatalities and the presence of Uber.

One of the authors of the paper said that it may make sense on an individual basis that Uber would have a positive effect, assumptions shouldn’t be made on a larger level.

What It All Means

Whether or not Uber has had the effect the company likes to claim, it is certain that hailing a ride after a night on the town is a safer option for the impaired driver and everyone on the road.

Driving while impaired is a risky choice. Senses are dulled and reaction times are slower. Not to mention, people tend to make poor choices when they have had one too many.

Uber isn’t the only way you can get home after an evening of partying. Here are some other ideas for getting home safely and avoid the need to hire a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer.

Alternatives to Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania infographic

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1. Use Public Transportation

If you are in a city that provides public transportation, a bus or train is always an option. Be careful though. You’ll need to mind your manners.

If you are obnoxiously intoxicated and disruptive, you could not only be kicked out of your ride but arrested as well.

2. Hail a Cab

Cabs are still in existence. If you have a couple more than you should have, consider calling a cab. You may have to catch a ride back to your car in the morning, but you’ll be alive to catch that ride and that’s what matters.

It’s always a good idea to call a local cab company and ask about pricing to be sure you have enough in your wallet.

3. Designate a Driver

It can be difficult to ask one of your friends to stick to soft drinks when you all go out, but it’s a safe option. If you routinely go out with the same group of friends, you can rotate the responsibility among yourselves.

Having a sober friend in the group not only ensures you have a safe ride home, but that you stay out of trouble while you’re out.

4. Phone a Friend

Most people would rather be inconvenienced by having to pick up a friend or family member in the middle of the night than to receive a tragic phone call. Recruit a volunteer to pick you up upon your phone call.

If you forget to pre-arrange for your ride, don’t hesitate to call anyway. The worst your loved one can do is say no and have you looking for an alternate option.

5. Look for Holiday Rides

If you are going out to celebrate a holiday, see if there are any rides being offered in your area. Police departments and towing companies sometimes offer this service during the more popular holidays to ensure everyone’s safety.

You may have to wait a while for your ride to show, but you know you’ll be in good hands.

With all of the options available, driving while impaired doesn’t make sense. If you consume alcoholic beverages, let someone else do the driving. It’s a choice that could prevent a catastrophic accident.

Speak with a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Today

If you are charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, you have rights to be aware of. Reach out to our office and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation with a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. We can defend you in court using our experience and knowledge, helping to possible mitigate the consequences you are facing.