A couple of days ago we got word that super Olympian Michael Phelps was busted for DUI in Baltimore.
After failing a sobriety test, Phelps was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lanes.
Hasn’t this guy heard of Uber?
In fact, I’m so serious I think management over at Uber should use this as an opportunity to advertise their service. Because the truth is, Uber not only serves as an excellent example of the power of free markets, but it also serves as a great tool to keep drunks off the road.
Sure, some will say that you can just as easily call a taxi. And that’s true. But there are actually three reasons why Uber is better than a conventional taxi service for keeping intoxicated people from getting behind the wheel of a car.
If you’re not within the confines of a major city, it’s nearly impossible to get a cab without having to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes. Calling cabs, at least in my experience, has always been a pain in the ass. They never show up on time. With Uber, on the other hand, I’ve never had to wait more than five or ten minutes. And it’s usually the former.
Now think about what can happen over the course of 30 minutes versus ten minutes?
Drunk people aren’t typically known for being patient. The sooner their rides can get there, the better chance we have of them not deciding they’re “OK to drive.”
When it comes to getting drunk folks in cabs, time is of the essence. Sadly, in many cases, your typical cab driver isn’t motivated by time. In the absence of competition, there’s little risk of him losing the fare over being late.
Uber drivers, however, are motivated by time. They’re bidding on that fare and want a positive review. It helps build their credibility.
Although I don’t drink like I did back in my early 20s, I do remember how common it was back then for cab drivers to screw me on the fare. They figure you’re drunk and you’re not going to notice getting gouged.
With Uber, on the other hand, you set the price before they even show up. No worries about your driver taking the “long way” home.
If you’ve ever been so stinking drunk that the smell of french fries is enough to make you throw up in your mouth, the last thing you want to do in that situation is crawl into a cab that smells like arm pits, dirty socks or cheap vanilla-scented air freshener mixed with the scent of Chinese take-out.
Now if you’ve ever used Uber, I’m pretty sure the car was clean and did not smell like the inside of your garbage disposal.
So there you have it: Three Reasons why Uber is doing a great job keeping drunks off the road.
This company should be rewarded for using free market ideals to provide a very important service, not reprimanded and sued by city and state governments because they’re not getting a piece of the action.