Despite claims made on The Blaze, (uber-)conservative Glenn Beck’s website, drunken driving arrests did not increase in Austin after Uber and Lyft left the city last spring, the Austin American-Statesman reported last Thursday.
According to the local daily, the website based its assertion on articles published by the Foundation for Public Education, a nonprofit that hopes to bring “freedom as a life philosophy to young audiences.”
The Statesman article, however, contradicts that assertion, basing its reporting on examination of statistics from the Austin Police Department. The article holds that those numbers reveal a decrease in the number of such arrests since the two ride-hailing businesses left and connects it with a downward trend in DWI arrest numbers, which it reports peaked in 2012.
The article explains that the information published in The Blaze was based on a KEYE-TV story last year that, while based on information provided by APD, was published only three weeks after Uber and Lyft left town.
The paper noted that local DWI arrests have been trending downward since 2012 and continued to do so for the same period in 2016, when the number of arrests between May 9 and Nov. 9 were 2,801.
While the two ride-hailing giants’ departure per se might not have affected the level of drunken driving in the city, the argument could be made that ride-hailing does help those numbers, since several similar apps—local businesses that cropped up to fill the vacuum—are now operational in Austin.