Austin Ride-Sharing Regs Result in DUI Surge

Austin Ride-Sharing Regs Result in DUI Surge

Uber ridesharing Austin

Uber ridesharing AustinAs the capital and center of government in Texas, Austin is also a key liberal bastion in an otherwise red state. Think of it as the Texas-theme park version of San Francisco.

In 2014, the city of Austin conducted its first district-based election, increasing the total number of city council seats.  Although the city council elections in Austin are officially nonpartisan, the election flooded Austin’s city council with liberal leaning officials.

Last summer, this newly minted Austin City Council passed burdensome regulations on ride-sharing. Led by one of the new council member who has received substantial political donations from the taxi industry, Austin’s city council voted to burden ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to red tape including city background checks and fingerprinting.

Uber and Lyft subsequently made the business decision to cease operating within Austin’s city limits.  Despite the presence of local ridesharing options and a rise of a shadow industry of underground drivers in Austin, arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) have already spiked according to data from Austin’s Police Department.

From Generation Opportunity:

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 5 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.

Local CBS Austin news confirms:

DWI [Driving while intoxicated] arrests have spiked since Uber and Lyft left Austin. The Austin Police Department released new numbers to KEYE TV that show there were 359 DWI arrests from May 9, the day Uber and Lyft shut down, to May 31st of this year. Last year during the same time period, there were 334 arrests. That’s a 7.5 percent increase in the weeks following their departure.

”Austin has gone back in time 20 years, to an era where the taxi monopoly and the Hertz cartel had a total chokehold on visitors,” The Drive reports.

That’s progressive policies for you.  Backward, controlling  government intrusion stifling business and endangering lives.


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Susan Swift is a lawyer, wife, and one conservative mother of seven children. Following her impassioned call into Rush Limbaugh's radio program in 2009 to oppose Obamacare, Susan was invited in 2010 by Andrew Breitbart to write for his young website Big Journalism, writing over 60 published articles for Breitbart. She is a regular contributor at A Texas native, Susan's career began as a child actor, including the title role in Audrey Rose directed by the legendary Robert Wise. Susan graduated magna cum laude from UCLA's famous Department of Theater Arts, then she attended Pepperdine School of Law, served as an editor of its Law Review, authored law review articles on entertainment law and federal civil procedure, and graduated with honors. She worked as a lawyer at a prominent international law firm in Los Angeles, and later joined the LAPD legal defense team in the Rodney King federal civil rights lawsuit. Follow on Twitter and Facebook @RealSusanSwift Website:

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