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Pittsburgh Drunken Driving Arrests Drop In Uber's First Year

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Sienna Mercato on Penn Avenue is a popular spot for Pittsburgher's to go for a night out.

It's also a popular place to to grab Uber on the way home.

Data shows the ride-sharing service's popularity peaks between 2 and 4 in the morning.

Some think the popularity and convenience of Uber may actually be lowering the number of drunk drivers on the road in Allegheny County.

"I've used Uber a few times and it's very efficient and quick and easy," Uber user Sonia Santacroce said.

Sonia Santacroce says the news is very positive to hear.

"I think whatever we can do to decrease drunk driving is a huge deal especially in Pittsburgh being a lot of colleges and universities in the area. We've got a lot of young college students who aren't always necessarily the most responsible," Santacroce said.

In addition to Sienna Mercato, Uber is often used at places like the Rivers Casino and Mario's South Side Saloon.

"It used to be if one of your friends needed to leave or wanted to leave, they'd have to stand and wait for a cab. If it's time to go, an Uber can be here in less than five minutes," Marketing Director for Sienna Restaurant Group Jesse Ament said.

"I see taxis randomly here and there but not really. Most people see Uber all the time," Uber user Sami Brozewicz said.

Last year was the first full year Uber has been in use here in Pittsburgh. Since then, Uber says the number of DUI arrests have been down nearly 18 percent.

Officials with Uber say authorities in Allegheny County made 3,284 DUI arrests in 2015.

That number was 4,004 in 2014 and the year before that it was 4,118.

Whether that's a coincidence or if Uber really is making a dent in drunk driving, everyone can agree having fewer impaired drivers on the road is a good thing.

"This is the first year we're seeing a pretty big change and we know at the local level the transportation options have increased dramatically," General Manager of Uber Pittsburgh Jennifer Krusius said.

"I think that's awesome. Not a good thing.  A lot of people don't take drunk driving very seriously and they definitely should," Brozewicz said.

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