Can Taxi Apps Reduce Drunk Driving? A Raleigh DWI Lawyer Shares His Thoughts

Uber and Lyft are two more reasons not to drink and drive and risk the chance of being charged with DWI in North Carolina.

These two smartphone apps, which allow passengers to get a ride within a given vicinity, recently expanded their operations into the Triangle area this past April. The apps work by connecting people with private motorists.

Uber and Lyft drivers charge around 30 percent less than an ordinary cab. Payment is done via credit card, so passengers won’t have to worry about having enough cash on hand.

This arrangement certainly works well for people coming back from a bar or a night out. Passengers get to where they need to be while drivers earn extra and the streets are safer for everyone; a win-win-win situation.

Any type of tool that can keep drunk drivers off the road is certainly good news to a Raleigh DWI lawyer. North Carolina, after all, has been fighting drunk driving for years. The state’s efforts seem to have paid off, though, judging from the 22.7-percent drop in impaired driving fatalities over the past ten years, according to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

However, the state still ranks third behind Pennsylvania and California when it comes to the number of fatal DWI crashes. Authorities still have a long way to go to get drunk drivers off the state’s roads. As such, the expansion of taxi apps in cities like Raleigh and Chapel Hill are a welcome development.

If you are going out and will be drinking it is always best to have a friend or family member ready drive you home. Meanwhile, if nobody is available to drive you home, you can call a cab and now use a smartphone app like Uber or Lyft to contact a driver.

Unfortunately many drunk drivers are unwilling to spend the money to take a cab home. We think it is important to think of the bigger picture. The cab fare from a bar in downtown Raleigh to a home in the suburbs is nothing compared to a DWI fine and expenses that can easily reach up to $5,000 or more not to mention the potential hassle of going to jail.

These new taxi service apps provide drivers a viable alternative to the traditional expense of a taxi ride. While operations in North Carolina are limited to the Triangle, we will likely see further expansions in the future. Of course, anyone facing a DWI charge should turn to a reliable DWI lawyer in Raleigh for professional legal representation.

(Source: “Two taxi service apps – Uber and Lyft – launch in Raleigh,”, April 24, 2014)