Ohio drunk drivers ordered to install Uber or Lyft

Having a ridesharing app at the ready could keep offenders out of their cars while drunk.

Drunk drivers may have a new consequence for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. They'll still face stiff penalties like fines, mandatory driver's prevention programs and possible jail time, of course. However, according to The News-Herald, Ohio Municipal Court Judge Michael A. Cicconetti has been ordering those convicted of Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) to download ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft as part of his sentencing. They must also enter their credit cards into the app as a condition of probation.

"If you can save one person from getting another OVI, one person from getting into an accident, one person from hurting somebody else, it makes sense," Cicconetti told The News-Herald. "It's just common sense. It doesn't cost anybody anything to install it and activate it, and it's far cheaper than paying the thousands of dollars you'd have to pay for another OVI."

There are many technological "solutions" to the drunk driving problem, of course. Researchers have developed a laser that can detect drunk drivers remotely. There are apps with hardware add-ons to help you decide if you're too drunk to drive. Some car-makers have anti-drunk driving technology built in. And yet there are still too many people choosing to drive while intoxicated; 604 Operating a Vehicle Impaired citations were issued in 2016 for defendants in Painesville Municipal Court. Installing an app and having it set up with a credit card for easy access could certainly encourage folks to grab an Uber or Lyft from the bar. Now if only we could ensure that the Uber drivers are sober.