Letters to the Editor

Uber, Lyft: Reducing drunk driving

Everyone likes to have options. South Florida certainly has plenty of them. A vibrant art scene, some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and countless lively bars and restaurants. As residents and visitors alike enjoy all the metro area has to offer, we need to be extra vigilant against the dangers of drunk driving.

Nationally, it’s estimated that every 53 minutes someone is killed and every two minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash.

MADD works to educate drivers to make better choices, such as choosing a non-drinking designated driver, calling a cab, taking public transportation or using your smart phone to request Uber.

We have seen stories across South Florida of drivers making smart decisions by not getting behind the wheel after drinking. Most recently, the Herald reported that DUI arrests in Miami-Dade are down from last year, writing “some believe that successful ride-sharing programs such as Uber and Lyft have cut at least some of the drunk drivers on the road.”

A recent national study conducted by MADD found that Uber can be a powerful tool in reducing drunk driving. The study looked into driving behavior in Miami-Dade and showed that Uber ridership peaks at the same time as historical alcohol-related crashes, indicating that Uber can reduce drunk driving in Florida by providing individuals with a smart alternative.

Miami-Dade needs to ensure that it keeps transportation options that empower individuals to make safer, better choices and can help save lives. Together, we can create a future with no more victims of drunk driving.

We hope Florida will follow the lead of more than 20 states across the country that have passed sensible regulations for this new, safe alternative and reliable option. There’s no question it will make our community a safer place to live and visit for all.

David Pinsker, executive director, Florida State MADD, Weston