DUI arrests still high even with millions using ride apps

DUI arrests still high even with millions using ride apps

Over the last couple of years, millions have downloaded popular ride apps like Uber or Lyft to get around town without driving, but that hasn’t decreased the amount of DUI arrests made in Spokane.

Although Uber and Lyft drivers seem to be on every corner, that doesn’t seem to keep everyone from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

“If you have to think ‘did I have too many drinks,’ you are playing with fire,” said Bill Spacher.

Bill Spacher of Coeur d’Alene has been an Uber driver for a year.

And to him, driving a couple of drinks is senseless.

“The police departments up here and in Northern Idaho are very diligent to keep the roads safe,” he said.

According to Spokane Police, DUI arrests by SPD officers over the last three years has remained relatively consistent over the last three years.

The numbers released by Washington State Patrol are even more alarming.

In 2010, before the days of Uber, there were 1,458 arrests in the seven District 4 Counties.

Just last year, with Uber and Lyft readily available, there were nearly 1,700 arrests.

“$10 to go downtown, have a good night, no one cares whatsoever, and then you get a safe ride home,” said Kim Loberg, a server at No-Li Brewery and an Uber customer, also advocates the safe alternative.

“I mean, you drink a little bit too much and you make a mistake, I’ve had friends pay for it and seeing that, definitely makes it a lot easier to just use that $10 instead of $5,000 or $10,000 you spend on a DUI.”

To expand, the Washington State Patrol told us that their program, Target Zero, and legal marijuana, have contributed to the rise of DUI arrests.

But all that being said, it doesn’t make a lot of sense when a safe, inexpensive ride home is just one button push away.