Ride-hailing apps could be preventing DUIs, attorney says

Posted at 12:38 AM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 00:38:51-04

CINCINNATI -- Although ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have recently attracted controversy from customers, cab companies and disgruntled ex-drivers, there's one area in which they might be making an unqualified positive impact: drunk driving incidents.

Specifically, preventing them. Steven Adams, a defense attorney, used to specialize in DUI defense but said the rise of the sharing economy has forced him to diversify.

Now, it's easier than ever for people who've spent a night drinking to call a sober ride home and say no to the life-threatening decision to get behind the wheel themselves.

"It's a good thing for society," Adams said. "Bad thing for me, but I'm a lawyer. I'm trained to do other things besides DUI defense."

It's not a proven correlation -- some studies have even contested it -- but regardless of the reason, local police officers have seen 20 percent fewer deaths connected to drunk driving this year, Batavia police Sgt. Grillot said.

"It's nice that (ride-hailing) gives another alternative to taxi cabs because some places don't have cabs," he said.

Whether it's the Uber effect or something else, Grillot said, he and other law enforcement officials are glad to see the numbers decrease.