People Getting Drunker In Cities Where Uber Is Available


If there has been one technological advancement to surface over the past decade that has served to keep the average drunkard from getting harassed by police and spending countless hours inside the walls of Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s been Uber. The popular ride-sharing service almost seems to have been invented for derelicts and other not so civil citizens that, before its creation, had no qualms whatsoever about jumping into their vehicles after a few or five cocktails and busting ass to wherever they needed to go. Of course, since there hasn’t been a surge in common sense across the United States, there are still those people who would rather risk getting busted for DUI than spend a few measly bucks to summon a chauffeured ride to their destination.

For those of us who have done the math, however, we fully understand that pushing a few buttons on those ride-share apps is far cheaper than trying to pay off the fines and court costs needed to evade jail. After all, the average DUI costs around $10,000 these days. Still, this doesn’t mean that Uber has been good for us all around. In fact, a new study shows that people are just getting drunker when Uber shows up in their town. And this means party-time could start getting ugly.

Using some of the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers at the University of Louisville and Georgia State University found that ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are turning more people into boozehounds. It seems that as soon as one of these services is launched in a new city, the drinking rate there starts to experience a bit of an increase.

The study reveals a 3 percent hike in overall alcohol consumption when ride-sharing services come to town, as well as an 8 percent increase in binge drinking. There was also a 9 percent uptick in heavy consumption. Interestingly, these increases were even higher in podunk parts of the country where public transit is nil. We imagine that, even to the most sheltered person along the rural route, Uber sure beats the hell out of trying to outrun the cops on a lawnmower. Not that this stops them most of the time, but hey, at least they’re trying to do what’s best for once.

While we can only theorize on this matter, we have a sneaking suspicion that the expansion of a drunken America is due to there no longer being a need for designated drivers in places where Uber and Lyft are available. So, all of those poor bastards previously given the shit-job of driving their asshole friends around from bar to barf are finally going buck wild on their own terms and simply hiring their own DD at the end of the night.

Hey, it’s not like they don’t deserve it.

We also suspect that the phrase, “fuck it, man, we’ll just get an Uber,” is allowing more people to get completely torn down when it reaches that point in the evening when they must decide whether to have one for the road or just go home. So by all accounts, there is something positive to be said about the majority of the population making the right decision in times of inebriation.

This newfound sense of responsibility is also leading to fewer people getting killed by drunk drivers, and some of that is likely due to the existence of Uber and Lyft. A 2017 study from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that “It seems reasonable to report that ride-sharing is associated with fewer alcohol-involved crashes in some places.”

But you’re still going to want to take it easy out there, kids. While it might be more convenient these days to get plastered in public, that doesn’t mean the liquor still won’t reach up and bite you in the ass.

Binge drinking is leading to higher rates of cirrhosis of the liver now than ever before. It’s not just those old farts out there with whiskey-soaked organs that are getting snuffed out either. Millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 are actually the ones most affected by this madness. Just think about that this holiday season before going too hard. We promise to let you know as soon as Uber releases a liver-share program. Until then, you might want to lay off a bit once they eyes start going yellow.


Mike Adams is a freelance writer for High Times, Cannabis Now, and Forbes. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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