Uber might actually be saving lives by providing intoxicated drivers with safe rides home, effectively keeping them off the road and protecting other motorists. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says popular ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are helping to reduce the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents and alcohol-related fatalities.
There were 1,025 people killed in drunk driving accidents in Nevada between 2003 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite these tragic numbers, MADD reports that fatalities were down by 25 percent in 2015, part of which the organization attributes to ride-share apps. Since statistics regarding traffic accidents are typically not available until 12 or 18 months after the end of the year, this is the most recent data available.
Availability of Ride-Share Apps
Uber, Lyft and similar companies operate ride-share apps which enable people to use a mobile device to request a ride. These apps are designed to be simple to use, enabling people to request a ride with a few touches on a mobile device, possibly even when they are impaired. A friend, bartender or another individual may be able to help intoxicated people use the app to prevent them from getting behind the wheel. Representatives from MADD believe that if this technology had been available previously other lives may have been saved because drunk drivers would have had an alternative to driving home drunk.
Drunk Driving Laws in Nevada
The blood alcohol concentration limit in Nevada is:
- .08 percent for most drivers
- .04 percent for commercial truck drivers
- .02 percent for drivers under the legal drinking age
These rates are considered the “illegal per se” limits, which constitute the blood alcohol concentration at which law enforcement can assume impairment is present. However, a person can have less than this concentration and still be arrested for DUI if consumption has impaired his or her driving ability. In addition to criminal penalties including fines, possible jail time and a loss of driving privileges, a car accident lawyer can sue a drunk driver for the injuries caused.
Dangers of Drunk Driving
Driving with a BAC of .08 percent is associated with poor muscle coordination, decreased reaction time, difficulty detecting danger, decreased judgment, decreased impulse control, difficulty concentrating and reduced informational processing, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.