MADD: Rideshare Reduces Drunk Driving

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Photo via Uber's Instagram account.

Photo via Uber's Instagram account.

It’s been nearly a year since a drunk driver killed four pedestrians and injured 17 others on a busy Austin street last March. The events of that night – in San Antonio’s backyard and during one of the biggest music festivals in the world – shook not only the state of Texas, but reminded everyone across the nation that drunk driving is a violent, deadly crime.

Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths, amassing 1,337 fatalities in 2013 alone; and Bexar County ranked as the third deadliest county in the state. That same year, there were nearly 100,000 DUI arrests in the state; and taxpayers’ subsidies of drunk driving fatalities reached a shocking $6.2 billion.

Drunk driving is 100% preventable. With all of the options at people’s fingertips today, there is no longer an excuse to drink and drive. Yet, unless the San Antonio City Council takes urgent action, one of those options will disappear on March 1.

Click here to download full size PDF.

Click here to download full size PDF.

Rideshare services such as Uber provide a viable alternative to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. MADD has worked with Uber since last July to help prevent drunk driving and advocate the need for safe ride options. A joint data report issued recently by MADD and Uber demonstrates that not only is Uber a convenient transportation option, but that it can also be a powerful tool in the fight to reduce the number of drunk driving crashes.

Nearly everyone surveyed would recommend their friends take Uber instead of driving if they’d been drinking alcohol. Over half of respondents agreed with the statement, “Without Uber, I’d probably end up driving more after drinking at a bar or restaurant.”

And council members should take note of the fact that 86% of respondents are concerned about drunk driving, and far more than other transportation issue, people want their elected leaders working toward solutions that reduce it. A solid majority of respondents (65%) said elected officials should prioritize reducing drunk driving as a way to keep streets safe for drivers and passengers.

It is crucial that San Antonio’s City Council help protect residents and allow for as many safe transportation choices as possible in this great city. Unless council members repeal the ordinance passed in December, rideshare services such as Uber will have no choice but to leave San Antonio on March 1.

Whether it’s a rideshare service, public transportation or a taxi, MADD wants all San Antonians to get home safely and designate a non-drinking driver when plans include alcohol. MADD is urging the city to repeal the ordinance so we can keep Uber in San Antonio and make the roadways safer for everyone. Uber provides a critical service to help prevent drunk driving. Together, we can work towards a world where a safe ride is always within reach, and where drunk driving is a thing of the past.

The City Council has the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on people’s lives in San Antonio. We hope our elected leaders make the right choice.

*Featured/top image: Photo via Uber’s Instagram account.

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12 thoughts on “MADD: Rideshare Reduces Drunk Driving

  1. I applaud this effort to reduce drunk driving in San Antonio, as DWIs are a serious, almost intractable problem here. Providing drunk patrons an easy ride home is one way to possibly curb this epidemic.

    The drunk-driving problem, though, has many causes, not the least of which is the city’s encouragement of festive activities that promote constant alcohol consumption.

    Name one event here that doesn’t involve the sale and glorification of booze.

    I also caution readers to check out the reliability of this study sponsored by Uber itself. See this analysis: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/04/uber-drunk-driving-study_n_6612106.html

    The City Council should keep its focus on Uber’s insurance coverage (commercial, total, and comprehensive) and require lengthy background checks of its drivers–the core issues in this debate.

  2. We need to be tougher on DUI like Pennsylvania. They’re so tough that when their drunk drivers lose their licenses , they come to Texas to get an occupational dl. (In Pa depending on the blood alcohol level , they are restricted from an occupational license)

  3. Gloria,

    There were 3,377 traffic fatalities in Texas in 2013. I concur the 1,337 drunk driving related deaths were 100% preventible, but assert the 2,040 non-drunk driving related deaths were also 100% preventible. Will MADD support and demand public policy to eliminate all traffic fatalities? The goal of zero traffic fatalities is achievable.

  4. With ride share a drunk person has a better way to get home safe. With a stricter law those options will be gone…

  5. You said that unless council members repeal the ordinance passed in December, rideshare services such as Uber will have no choice but to leave San Antonio on March 1.

    I’m curious to know what part of the city ordinance makes you think that is the case.

  6. Translation: Unless the city council hands Uber and Lyft an unfair advantage in the San Antonio marketplace, they will leave.

  7. Uber and Lyft are way nicer and way less expensive than the GROSS Taxi cabs in San Antonio – I’m glad to see MADD finally weighing in. It’s important that we keep San Antonio a rideshare friendly city.

  8. “Indeed, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which co-authored the report, cautioned us against connecting the rise of Uber to a drop in drunk driving. “Nobody is saying that there is a causation relationship here, this is a correlation relationship. Purely correlational,” said Amy George, senior vice president of marketing and communications for MADD.”

    http://nowcastsa.com/blogs/uber-claims-credit-drop-drunk-driving-accidents-wheres-evidence

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