Police: Ridesharing Cuts Down on Drunk Driving in Jacksonville and Across Country

Police in Jacksonville and cities and towns across the country say ridesharing is cutting down on drunk driving in their communities.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office provided statistics to First Coast News this week that show a decline in drunk driving arrests and crashes since Lyft and Uber began operating in the county three years ago.

Drunk driving arrests are down 32 percent since Lyft and Uber arrived in Lincoln, Nebraksa in 2014, according to the Lincoln Police Department.

In Laguna Beach, California, police report a decline in drunk driving arrests by 21 percent last year while there were zero fatalities due to traffic accidents. “The use of more accessible services such as Uber, Lyft generally have encouraged people to use them instead of driving a vehicle while impaired,” said Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the Laguna Beach Police Department.

These new reports add to the growing body of evidence that ridesharing services are a proven tool to fight drunk driving. A survey of Lyft passengers last year found that 86 percent of its passengers choose Lyft to avoid driving under the influence.

This is backed up by research from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that found that ridesharing “can be a powerful tool in reducing drunk driving” in Florida:

The study looked into driving behavior in Miami-Dade and showed that Uber ridership peaks at the same time as historical alcohol-related crashes, indicating that Uber can reduce drunk driving in Florida by providing individuals with a smart alternative.

But a patchwork of local rules restricts or prohibits ridesharing in many parts of the state meaning not all Floridians have this proven alternative to drunk driving available to them. This is why our coalition supports a statewide ridesharing law, which would allow services like Lyft and Uber to operate throughout the state under one set of rules.