Last year 971 people lost their lives in DWI accidents in Texas, and according to the state Department of Transportation, 17 of those deaths were in Austin. The cityalso had 45 incapacitating crashes related to drunk driving in 2014, and hundreds of other people were injured due to DWI.

Driver education and police enforcement are crucial aspects of preventing drunk driving accidents in Austin and throughout Texas. In fact, the Austin Police Department has reported a decline in the number of people arrested for DUI. Perhaps not surprisingly, Uber, the now widely used ride-sharing service, has taken credit for helping reduce the number of drunk drivers on Austin’s roads.

Is ride-sharing in Austin helping to improve safety?

Uber says yes, definitely, but a detective with Austin’s DWI Enforcement Unit says he can’t be sure because each year the number of DWI arrests fluctuates.

David Plouffe, a high-ranking executive at Uber and long-time political consultant, disagrees. He believes the ride-sharing service has most certainly resulted in fewer people getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

The fact that more sober rides are available has led to a decrease in DWI incidents, says Plouffe. He points out that drunk driving happens more often as bars start to close, and requests for Uber rides increase at that same time of night.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, then speak with a personal injury attorney about receiving the compensation you need and deserve.

Reducing the individual and societal impact of DUI accidents has always required a multi-prong approach. Drivers need to be educated about the dangers drunk driving; police need to enforce the law; people who have been drinking need to make responsible decisions and avoid driving; and victims of drunk driving need the maximum in compensation for their injuries.

To learn more about your legal options after an injurious DWI accident, please see The Levine Law Firm’s drunk driving accident overview.