Guess what? Drunk driving has not been reduced by the popularity of Uber taxis, new research has found. The study debunks the theory that those who have over imbibed use their smartphones to arrange a safe route home instead of getting behind the wheel themselves. You would think it would be a no-brainer. The ride-hailing service picks up the usual Friday and Saturday night crowds of inebriated partiers, preventing them from drinking and driving. Thus the conclusion would be that Uber saves lives. It's a claim the company has made repeatedly, as recently as this past 4th of July. On its website it says cities with Uber have "fewer drunk drivers on the streets." . According to Uber, surveys that it has done indicated that 80 percent of participants declared that they found the company's services helpful in preventing them from driving drunk. This was a statement it made early in July when it partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as local law enforcement agencies in over 25 cities. The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness regarding the dangers of drunk driving, Digital Trend reports.
Channel 3, WEAR TV, reports that suspected DUI drivers could face harsher penalties if they refuse to take a breathalyzer test. Under the proposed new law, drivers could face jail time and fines. The proposed bill is expected to be discussed in committee next week. For refusing the test, drivers would face a minimum $500 fine and six months of probation on top of an already suspended license for refusing the test. WEAR interviewed an officer with the Gulf Breeze Police Department who thought the new proposed penalties would be very beneficial. Why? Breathalyzer tests are voluntary. The Gulf Breeze Officer, Brandon Scapin, said "If you don't submit to lawful test of your breath your license gets suspended for a period of one year. If you have a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of the breath, urine or blood your license will be suspended for a period of 18 months." He said the fear of spending time behind bars and paying a fine may encourage drivers to cooperate. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for someone to refuse a breath test if they're arrested again. A repeat offender would also be required to have a breathalyzer device installed in their vehicle, and would need to pass in order to drive their car. Gulf Breeze police officers are equipped with audio packs and their units have dash cams that record evidence that also helps in DUI cases. As always, law enforcement reminds you not to drink and drive.
According to Channel 3 WEAR, an Escambia County Sheriff's sergeant was involved in a traffic accident recently in Cantonment. It appeared that the deputy's cruiser and an older model Ford van collided near the Raceway gas station at Highway 29 and Muscogee Road about 7:20 a.m. The deputy was transported by Escambia County to a Pensacola hospital with injuries. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 24-year old male was traveling east on Muscogee Road in a 1996 Ford Windstar van when he made a wide right turn onto Highway 29 and into the path of a marked Escambia County Sheriff's Office 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe . The 24 year old male was charged with DUI and possession of a controlled substance by the Florida Highway Patrol and booked into the Escambia County Jail . Florida could be doing more to deter DUI accidents. MADD created a five-star system for the report that looks at five different areas of measures that can be taken to prevent drunk driving accidents. The categories are as follows:
We all know driving drunk or high causes car accidents. The good news is that fewer people are driving while drunk or under the influence of alcohol. The bad news is that more of them are driving under the influence of marijuana or prescription drugs. This mixed news comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has issued the 2014 results from its Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers.