Does public transportation reduce the amount of DUI cases?
DUI is the number one crime in California, meaning that more people commit the offense of DUI than any other crime. (Number two crime committed in California is driving on a suspended license, most often suspended because of a DUI). Does public transportation reduce the amount of DUI cases?
In most large cities on the East Coast of the United States, and certainly in most states, and in most countries in Western Europe, DUI is not even in the top five. Theft crimes, like petty theft or shoplifting, or domestic violence or burglary are well above DUI cases.
Earlier we discussed a scholarly paper that showed that Uber was creating a significant drop in DUI cases in each city that they entered, and I had speculated that future automated driving vehicles will create a radically different economy, and society, and may even eventually end impaired driving of almost all types.
Another research paper that was forwarded to me, titled “One for the Road”, was published in the Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issues 1-2, February 2011, and appears on Pages 106-121.
In the paper, two Cornell University researchers examine the correlation between readily available alternatives to driving, and whether or not that has an impact on drunk driving or DUI rates.
The writers focused on one city with a good transportation system: Washington, D.C, and their Metro system, which I utilized daily during my time in DC. They examined train schedule changes, which sometimes are for personnel scheduling reasons, or maintenance, and tried to closely examine what the relationship between public transportation options and the criminal decision to engage in drunk driving or DUI.
What they found was that overall there was a small effect on DUI arrests, alcohol related fatal traffic and alcohol related arrests. However, there was an effect. Specifically, they concluded that areas close to bars that are within walking distance to DC Metro stations experienced an increases in alcohol related arrests and decreases in DUI arrests. That means that drinking increased, but the amount of people arrested for DUI dropped when other options were available.