How many times have you said “no” to that third beer, cocktail, or second bottle of wine because you were worried about driving home? As we contemplate the job no one wants – the designated driver or DD – recently things have changed as bars and restaurants can attest. Just ask about their alcohol sales.
Responsible drivers drink responsibly, but the definition of “adult behavior” has changed in the last few years. Thanks to Uber and Lyft, you don’t need a designated driver anymore.
Bar, restaurant and nightclub owners are enthusiastic, law enforcement agencies are hopeful, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) are on board.
Uber and Lyft are Good for Alcohol Sales
Francois Renaud, the managing partner at Terrine in LA told the Los Angeles Times that ride-hailing is a “game changer.” Renaud said that the idea of having a designated driver never really worked since nobody ever wants to do it.
Renaud said the difference is in the second bottle of wine that people order.
Donato Poto, a co-owner of Connie & Ted’s, a seafood bistro in West Hollywood said that there’s been a noticeable drop in the number of customers who are driving themselves. He said that before ride-sharing, his valets would park up to 120 cars each night, but now they don’t park more than 70. The other 40 or 50 he said, are all Uber drop-offs.
The director of operations for several Yard House bars in Southern California, Michael Kolden, said that all of his millennial customers have ride-sharing apps on their phones. He said that they don’t need to place a call in a noisy bar where they can’t hear. All they have to do is hit a button and a ride appears.
Uber Makes Everyone Safer
Claudio Blotta said that when he used to ask customers at his restaurants (All’ Aqua, Barbrix, and Cooks County) if they wanted a second glass of wine, they’d often say that they’d love to, but they have to drive. Blotta said that’s no longer the case; Uber makes everyone safer.
In January 2015, Mothers Against Drunk Driving published a report suggesting that ride-sharing services may be reducing drinking and driving. MAAD’s report focused on Uber’s first markets, including California, comparing alcohol-related crash data between 2011 and 2013.
The MAAD report said that in California, DUI crashes fell by 6.5% in cities after UberX was introduced, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Thanks to ride-sharing services the meaning of “drinking responsibly” has expanded. Nowadays, it doesn’t necessarily mean having a designated driver, it can be ordering a ride through your phone app.