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The original item was published from 7/16/2017 5:09:04 PM to 7/31/2017 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: July 16, 2017

[ARCHIVED] RPD Chief Says Rideshare Services Having Impact on Impaired Driving

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Rideshares, like Lyft and Uber, are reducing drunk driving

Riverside Police Department released their six month 2017 DUI stats that showed a sharp decrease in nearly every category. The information is part of their ongoing campaign against impaired driving – meaning drunk and/or drugged driving.

DUI arrests in the first six months of 2017 dropped 31%.  The only category that increased was DUI arrests made before 6:00 p.m. (during day shift hours).

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated, "In speaking with other chiefs and my officers, they have no doubt that rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber that provide intoxicated people a safe ride home with little to no inconvenience, is resulting in fewer DUI arrests by police agencies in greater metro Cook County."

Weitzel spoke to his officers who work the midnight shift and officers assigned to impaired driving task force operations, and every single officer relayed that rideshares are truly having an impact on the reduction of impaired driving - despite some national reports that say otherwise. 

Chief Weitzel said he’s now calling on all rideshare companies to step up campaigns for their services in restaurants, bars, lounges, and at sporting events.  He said a simple poster in areas where liquor is served displaying their app and reminding customers to use it to call for a ride when they're leaving the event, would make a dramatic impact throughout the United States. Weitzel believes while this would be a small financial burden to these large companies, it would have a huge impact on public safety. 

Additionally, I'd like to see rideshare companies have personnel at large scale sporting and concert events where upon leaving the sporting event or performance, small 3x5 cards could be handed out reminding people that the rideshare services are available if needed” said Weitzel.

Lyft and Uber are widely used by those under 30 and Weitzel thinks it’s that audience that must be targeted if additional impact is to be made in reducing impaired driving in the metro Cook County area and nationwide.

RPD News Release/2017 6 Mo. DUI

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