According to an article published in the Miami Herald, DUI arrests have been going down in the South Florida area. DUI arrests made by Miami-Dade’s two largest police departments have substantially dropped over the last four years. In 2017, DUIs were down by 65% when compared to arrests from 2017. Between 2013 and 2015, Miami-Dade police arrested more than 1,500 people each year. In 2017, only 594 people were arrested for DUI charges.
Miami’s DUIs arrests dropped as well. Police in the city arrested 461 people on DUI charges in 2013. That number decreased by 31% over the next two years.
Why Are DUIs Decreasing in South Florida?
Most people are crediting ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft for the dramatic decline in DUI arrests. Studies show that as these ride-sharing services increased in popularity, DUI arrests in the South Florida area dropped. Others suggest that DUI arrests are declining because the public is more educated about the issue.
David Pinsker, Florida’s executive director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said, “The reality is, it’s really hard to know the complete impact. I think it’s just really hard to pinpoint exactly what ride-sharing has done. We know it’s had an impact. I can say that certainly. But I can’t put a number on it.”
When it comes to national DUI arrest statistics, a 2017 study on whether ride-sharing is responsible for a lower DUI rate or accidents produced mixed results. The study was conducted by researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and looked at data from four cities that had ride-sharing services, stopped, and then started the service up again.
In Portland, Oregon, DUIs dropped by nearly 60% when ride-sharing services were available. San Antonio, Texas saw similar numbers, but DUIs in Reno, Nevada didn’t really change.
Miami-Dade police have a DUI squad composed of one sergeant and five officers, this unit is sometimes joined by up to 15 other units to look for drunk drivers. According to Alvaro Zabaleta, Miami-Dade police Detective and spokesman, DUI arrests have dropped because of increased enforcement, collaboration with MADD, and more millennials preferring to let others do the driving. “I think all of it together is where I feel the success has come from,” said Zabaleta.
Speaking about DUI arrests in South Florida, Miami Police Lt. Joaquin Freire said, “Ride-sharing has definitely impacted things. Everybody now with their Smartphones, there’s always an Uber around. Uber and Lyft have definitely been an impact. But we’re still out there.”
Sarasota DUI Defense Attorneys
Have you or someone you know been arrested for DUI in Florida? Do you need help building a strong legal strategy that will protect your rights and interests? If so, you should immediately get in touch with our legal team to discuss the details of your case. At Wyndel G. Darville, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping clients facing DUI charges, and we have the skills and resources that you need to secure a fair case result. Our team is prepared to get to work for you today.
Call (941) 564-5319 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation with an experienced legal advocate in Sarasota.