Uber as a designated driver prevents drunk driving

By Michelle Guerin
January 22, 2018

Uber is an application that allows users to hire a private driver to pick them up and take them to their destination using their smartphone devices. Photo from Flickr: Mark Warner.

“I could have potentially helped prevent people from dying or getting into a car accident, not to mention thousands of dollars in fine or felony,” Clementine Mottola, an Uber driver, said.


It has come to the attention of many that the driving company Uber, created in 2009, does and can prevent drunk driving.

When a person requests an Uber ride, the app asks the current location, the intended destination and the number of riders. With that information, the app quotes the user a price.

Alexis Costello, a bartender at Applebee’s, she personally thinks Uber lessens drunk driving. The company she works for even uses ride-sharing applications like Uber to prevent customers from driving while intoxicated.

Applebees offers a variety of alcoholic beverages that could lead to customers driving while intoxicated. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

“Our company will pay for a taxi, Uber or Lyft if one shows signs of intoxication and are not able to drive,” said Costello.

Costello believes that actions before drinking do determine if Uber helps.


“Personally, I believe Uber lessens drunk driving if the person takes the Uber out in the first place,” said Costello. “If not, their judgment to drive is impaired and they are more likely to attempt to drive, especially if it’s a short distance.”

Attending colleges close to cities give a variety many bars to people over 21.

“We usually go out to Madriver in Manayunk,” Joe Fiore, a senior studying exercise science and health promotion at Cabrini, said. “Most of the time, we will definitely call Uber back.”

Reflecting on the many times going out with friends and family, Fiore believes Uber is a huge contribution to reducing drunk driving.

“[Uber] is so easy to use and is generally pretty cheap, especially if you split it with four or five other people,” said Fiore. “To me, it’s stupid not to use. Nothing is worth drunk driving for.”

Clementine Mottola has been an Uber driver for 10 months now, starting in February of 2017. With the hot spots being around Philadelphia, Mottola starts in Phoenixville and drives everywhere, from concert venues and sport arenas to wherever a strip of bars are, making good money on the weekends between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Mottola also helps people grocery shopping and brings people to work during the weekdays.

“When I am a designated driver, I feel proud that I can help my community by saving lives,” said Mottola. “I definitely think Uber has helped cut down on drunk driving because Uber is cheap, easy and available literally everywhere.”

Mottola lives in Schwenksville, Pa., where there are no cab or taxi services.

Alcohol impairs vision and response time, hindering a persons ability to drive. U.S. Air Force photo from Ellsworth by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada.

“Living where I do, there is minimal public transpiration,” Mottola said. “People depend on Uber to get around and not drive while intoxicated.”

Having people like Mottola and other Uber drivers can prevent young to old intoxicated people from causing accidents and bringing harm to themselves and others on the road.

“Sometimes, I’ll pick people up all day and night throughout a Saturday and not one person is drunk,” said Mottola. “Other Saturdays, every single person I pick up is definitely drunk and sometimes obviously well beyond the legal limit of driving.”

Michelle Guerin

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