You may be one of the thousands of North Carolinians who have taken advantage of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Their availability and popularity have exploded across the state since 2014. Over that same time period, arrests related to drinking and driving have decreased by 30%.
According to WRAL News, the increased availability of ride-sharing services cannot account entirely for the downward trend in DWI arrests, however. A number of factors have a part to play, including changes in law enforcement tactics and the efforts of campaigns against drunk driving.
Still, it is significant that out of 16 counties that have seen an increase in DWI arrests since 2014, 14 are in rural areas where ride-sharing is less readily available. Meanwhile, drunk driving arrests in top-five cities for population, like Charlotte and Durham, have dropped 50%, an even more dramatic decrease than the figures for the entire state.
A state law enforcement official attributes the decrease to a combination of having more alternatives to driving available and hearing messages repeatedly about the costs and dangers related to drunk driving. Additionally, he perceives a cultural shift. Younger generations have had ride-sharing available to them for most of their lives and regard it as a way of life.
A related theory is that there is an increased negative stigma attached to DWI. The prevailing attitude seems to be that there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel of your car while impaired when there are so many different companies providing transportation services to you, some for pricing comparable to what you would pay for parking if you drove your own car.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.