Sadly, in the past, an inebriated bar patron who needed to get home after a night of drinking would not think twice about getting behind the wheel of his or her car. State and national awareness campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving have gone a long way towards changing that attitude, fortunately.
Still, some individuals continue to drive drunk. One reason: Alternatives such as taxis, public transportation or relying on friends seem impractical, unaffordable or simply unavailable when a driver needs them. This is where ridesharing may come into play, serving as a cheap, effective alternative to driving home after drinking.
Wisconsin has the highest rate of drinking in the U.S., according to a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. It should come as no surprise that the state also has the highest rate of drunk driving in the country, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). As WisDOT reports, during one recent year:
These statistics paint a grim picture of traffic safety: Motorists in Milwaukee and other areas of Wisconsin clearly face an elevated risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash that can cause serious injuries or even death. Concerned residents and citizens may rightly wonder what – if anything – can address this issue and make Wisconsin roads safer.
A 2015 study conducted by Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Show Me the Way to Go Home, analyzed whether ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft have had any impact on the rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
The study looked for any change or alteration in the incidence rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths after two ridesharing services were made available in California. The study found that the rate of auto accident deaths dropped between 3.6 percent and 5.6 percent per quarter in California, lending credence to the researchers’ conclusion that ridesharing services do, in fact, help to reduce the rate of drunk driving accidents.
When Evesham Township, New Jersey, was looking at a record number of drunk driving cases earlier this year, donors and businesses that serve alcohol in the small community decided to partner with Uber ridesharing services to create a new program.
The program allows intoxicated patrons at any one of 19 establishments in the community that serve alcohol to obtain a free ride home through Uber any night of the week between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
According to Reuters, this program reduced the number of drunk driving cases in September 2015 to eight. The monthly average between January 2015 and August 2015 had been 23.
With Uber services available in Milwaukee ranging from low-cost ridesharing options to higher-end shuttle services, one cannot help but wonder whether a similar program could take flight in Milwaukee and in other cities throughout Wisconsin.
Our law firm fully supports efforts to make Uber’s ridesharing services available to inebriated persons so that they do not put themselves and others on the road in harm’s way.
A drunk driving accident in Wisconsin can be a terrifying experience: Injuries can be severe and fatal. One’s losses and expenses can be tremendous, too.
At Techmeier Law Firm, our understanding and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers understand the terrible toll that drunk driving crashes exact. We are committed to helping you and your family to hold the drunk driver responsible for your crash accountable for his or her reckless decision to drink and drive.
Contact our firm by phone or through our online form and let us help you pursue compensation for your losses if you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver.