Ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft are often touted as a way to prevent drunk driving. If someone has too much to drink, they know that they can simply use an app on their phone to call a car.
In many ways, these services can be quite helpful. But they are not going to entirely put an end to drunk driving.
Could these services attempt to avoid drunk passengers?
One potential issue is that these services have in some cases attempted to avoid picking up drunk passengers. In 2018, for instance, it was reported that artificial intelligence was being used to predict if people calling an Uber were intoxicated. The system could do so by considering things like:
- Spelling mistakes
- Common habits
- Usage patterns
- Location date
- Click accuracy
- Current walking speed
For instance, if you typically use Uber to go home from work at 5:00 p.m., typing accurate sentences and clicking on buttons precisely, the system would quickly pick up on the fact that something was different if you called for a ride after midnight while walking slowly through a known bar district and while sending messages with numerous typos.
But doesn’t something like this undercut the benefit of Uber? Perhaps, but Uber is certainly within its rights to decide when they want to decline service to someone.
If the company decides to pick up fewer intoxicated passengers, that may mean those individuals feel the need to get behind the wheel themselves. Those who then get arrested on drunk driving allegations need to make sure that they are well aware of the legal defense options they have at their disposal. A single mistake shouldn’t be allowed to damage your future.