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How Rideshare Services Can Help Keep Drunk Drivers Off Our Cleveland Roads

Close up woman hand orders a taxi from his mobile smartphone application.

A Cleveland Car Accident Attorney Explains What You Should Know

Drunk drivers pose a great danger in Ohio, yet they continue to get behind the wheel and put themselves and others at risk. Why they behave this way is a mystery since the dangers of drunk driving have been known for years.

Car accidents caused by drunk drivers happen far too often in Cleveland and throughout Ohio, but recent research suggests using rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft can help prevent these types of crashes.

A new study by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health suggests increased use of rideshare services translates into fewer alcohol-related crashes. The findings, published in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs,” compared 962 alcohol-related accidents in Chicago with an equal number that did not involve alcohol.

“We found the density of active rideshare trips near a crash site was associated with decreased odds that the crash was alcohol-involved,” said Christopher Morrison, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. “These results are consistent with the suggestion that ridesharing replaces impaired-driver trips.”

Statistically, an increase in one rideshare trip per square mile decreases the odds of an alcohol-related crash by .2%. While the number may appear small, it’s based on a single rideshare. Multiply the numbers in areas where the use of ridership services is increasingly common, and the impact on public safety is a life-saving game-changer.

Tragic Numbers and Severe Penalties in Ohio

In 2018, alcohol-related accidents claimed the lives of 294 people in the state, leaving behind thousands of grieving loved ones. The number represented 27.5% of all fatal accidents.

Someone convicted of a fatal drunk-driving accident in Ohio can face a prison term ranging up to 15 years. Fines can total $20,000, which does not include court costs and attorney fees.

The first offense penalties for what Ohio calls OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) without a fatality can mean:

  • A fine of $375 to $1,075.
  • Three days to six months in jail.
  • A suspended driver’s license for three months to six years.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock on the vehicle.
  • Mandatory participation in an intervention program.
  • The possibility of alcohol/drug assessment and treatment programs.
  • An assessment of six points on the offender’s license.

The penalties increase sharply for subsequent offenses. They top out at a fine of $10,500, 5 years in jail, possible lifetime loss of license, house arrest, mandatory treatment programs, vehicle forfeiture, and six points on a license for a fourth offense.

My Team Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve

Reckless motorists continue to ignore the risks of drinking and driving, putting too much trust in their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

At Merriman Legal, LLC, our Cleveland car accident lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to aggressively advocate for your best interests and build a strong legal case based on hard facts to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a crash caused by a drunk driver in Ohio, schedule a free consultation with our law firm to learn your legal rights and options.

To find out how we can help you, contact us today.

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