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Despite apps and promo codes, big December for DUI stops around East Precinct

December DUI incidents reported around the East Precinct (Source: data.seattle.gov)

December DUI incidents reported around the East Precinct (Source: data.seattle.gov)

Early Friday morning between midnight and 3 AM, East Precinct officers made three DUI stops including one just before last call in the heart of the entertainment district at Harvard and Pike.

The stops come in a busier than usual month for impaired driver calls for police across Capitol Hill and the Central District even as impaired drivers have more and more options to be passengers.

This New Year’s Eve, the City of Seattle has again teamed up with Uber for a promotion giving users discounted rides — open the Uber app, tap Promotions, enter promo code SAFESTART2017, and “request an uberPOOL ride on New Year’s Eve and the $10 discount will automatically apply,” Uber writes. But the ride service and its brethren don’t seem to have made a dent in East Precinct DUI enforcement this holiday season.

According to Seattle Police’s publicly available reporting, East patrols have responded to 39 DUI incidents so far this December. Over the past six years, officers have usually made around 20 stops in the same period. Of those 39 stops, about half ended in an arrest including a tech venture capital partner busted just before A AM on December 28th near 27th and Madison and the unfortunate health worker nailed not once but twice this month — once on the 7th and again on the 13th.

Uber’s and others like Lyft’s impact on drunk driving statistics have been used by the companies to push for expansion of the services. Nationally, the drunk driving rate has fallen to a new low, the Washington Post reported Friday. The numbers show that Americans are reporting that, yes indeed, they are driving impaired less often. That may be the case. But the SPD data from Capitol Hill and the East Precinct shows there is still plenty of dangerous drunk driving going on despite the apps and promo codes.

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zeebleoop
zeebleoop
5 years ago

I’m curious, does the data show a busier December for just the east precinct or is there a jump in DUIs across the city? Not sure if you were able to look at that data as well. Would be interesting to know if our section of the city is unique with the DUI trend.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

How many bars per sq mile on Capitol Hill vs some other parts of Seattle? I once aided with some research for the U District and there were something like 70 business with liquor licenses on the Ave (restaurants included in that list) and it seemed like a high concentration. If bars are a majority business in the area that has to factor into this. I often think there is a lack of business diversity on Capitol Hill with a focus on alcohol instead.

Jim98122x
Jim98122x
5 years ago

If we really want to see a decrease in DUIs, we should be asking why we’re not running regular Metro and light rail for 2 hours later on Friday and Saturday nights? There’s no excuse for buses and rail stopping an hour or more before last call, at least on weekends.

Del
Del
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim98122x

No kidding! I always find it weird that if you come in on a late flight to Seatac you can’t take the light rail.

Neighbor
Neighbor
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim98122x

I agree 100%!