If there is any city that needs access to Uber (though probably eclipsed by New Orleans and Las Vegas) it is Austin. The place is full of politicians, college students, musicians, and UT football fans. All of these folks like to drink. But that is precisely why Uber is banned. The taxi cartel didn’t want competition for the sauced so they got their crony friends to chase the ride sharing companies out.
Now DUIs are back up.
Before Uber came to town in 2014, Austin Police Department’s data showed that the city had an average of 525 drunk driving arrests per month. When these numbers were revisited a year after ridesharing came to Austin, drunk driving arrests had dropped by five percent. This trend continued the following year when the number of drunk driving arrests dropped by an additional 12 percent, bringing the average number of arrests to about 438 per month.
In May of 2016, the same month Uber and Lyft made the decision to leave Austin, the monthly rate of drunk driving incidents was down to an average of 358. However, within the first few months of Uber and Lyft’s absence, the number of DUI arrests increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year. In the month of July alone, the city had 476 drunk driving arrests.