Uber reduces drunk driving rates in New Orleans

Kristen Stewart

With Uber’s popularity growing, New Orleans party-goers will have a new way to enjoy themselves and still get home safely.

In January 2015, Mothers Against Drunk Driving paired up with the ride-sharing service, Uber. MADD released an announcement from a recent case study that revealed since the creation of Uber and other ridesharing apps, the amounts of drunk driving have gone down.

With services such as Uber available, people are more likely to use it as a way to get home rather than alternative transportation service.

“Nearly 4 in 5 (78 percent) respondents said friends are less likely to drive home after drinking since ridesharing services like Uber started operating in their city,” the MADD report said.

The survey results also reported that 93 percent of people would recommend Uber as a safe way home for their friends who are under the influence of alcohol.

This is good news for those who like to enjoy themselves in the vivid nightlife of New Orleans. Since April 2015, Uber has been available to locals and tourists, alike. However, this is the first Mardi Gras season that Uber will be in service during the parades and festivities.

Martin Denesse, a New Orleans Uber driver, believes that Uber is a better way to get around the city during any particular busy time in the city. This includes Mardi Gras or a busy night in the French Quarter. Denesse also agrees that riding with Uber is the best alternative to getting behind the wheel or even finding a different mode of transportation.

“Uber’s so much cheaper than a cab. Normally you’re going to have people who are familiar with the city. A lot people who drive with Uber are from here. Cab drivers aren’t usually familiar with the city because they aren’t from here. I know my way around town pretty well. With the exception of the construction, I know how to move around,” Denesse said, “I know if it I was younger and in college and we had Uber, I would’ve been on it all the time because it would’ve saved me a lot of money.”

For some, however, having Uber may not be the best option for a safe way home. During special events in the city, such as Mardi Gras, Uber will raise its prices. This cost change is a definite factor for Zoe Johnson, Tulane University junior, even if she has been drinking.

“It’s important to remember that we have gotten around fine for countless Mardi Gras in the past without Uber. So, if the ride is going to cost too much, there is probably another option. Freshman year I walked from school to all the Uptown parades and we took the bus to parades downtown, and we all managed to make it home in one piece,” Johnson said.

Pack News has reached out to the Louisiana Uber office but has not yet received any comment regarding the statistics of drunk driving in New Orleans.