Uber safe alternative for spring break


Christopher Zacherl

A student demonstrates the dangers of drinking and driving.

Gloria Heredia, Contributor

Some students plan to use Uber during the week of spring break festivities since they plan on drinking.

Uber Technologies Inc. is an American multinational online taxi dispatch company that began in California in 2009 and started up in El Paso in June 2014.

According to a report conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alcohol-related crashes have decreased in California by 60 accidents per month.  However, so far this year in El Paso, 21 individuals have been arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Every day in the United States, an average of 30 people die in car accidents that involve intoxicated drivers. That’s one death every 51 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes each year totals to more $59 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sergeant for the El Paso Police Department, Roberto Gomez, has been in law enforcement for 19 years and said drunk driving has always been a challenge for the department due to how frequent those cases are.

Gomez said that it is important to find alternate means of transportation when drinking.

“I think that anytime a person decides to use an alternative mean of transportation while they’ve been drinking is a good thing,” Gomez said. “Whether it is a taxicab, a designated driver or Uber, anything that prevents a drunk person, or an impaired person from getting behind the wheel is definitely a good thing.”

Karen, an El Paso Uber driver,  recently started working for the company. She did not want to disclose her last name for security reasons.

Karen said she does encourage students to use Uber,  especially after going out and drinking in order to prevent drunk driving.

“El Paso is probably one of the more reasonable in pricing. It is a $5 flat rate, then they start doing it by mile or by time,” Karen said. “I’ve taken Uber several times, it’s way safer and cheaper than getting in trouble.”

Some students do not feel comfortable using UBER because they are uncomfortable with getting into a car with someone they don’t know.

Junior media advertising major, Anthony Ashley, goes back to some early teachings.

“We teach our kids to not get in cars with strangers, but with Uber we are doing it like every day,” Ashley said. “We are basically going against what we are saying, being hypocrites about not getting in cars with strangers, but we get in cars with strangers either way.”

Sophomore kinesiology major, Joceline Sanchez, said that despite a recent incident in Michigan where an Uber driver is on trial for murdering six people, she thinks it is worth getting in the car with a stranger rather than driving drunk.

“Even if that happened, I would still get an Uber because at the moment you don’t think about how dangerous it could be. I’d rather take one than driving drunk,” Sanchez said.

Gloria Heredia may be reached at [email protected]