ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Cabs, Uber, Lyft -- there have never been more options to get home safely after a night out. So are ride-sharing programs affecting the number of DWI arrests in our area?
There will be a lot of revelers looking for safe ways home on New Year's Eve.
"My mom was actually involved in an accident. She was T-boned by a drunk driver and that kind of put her in a physio for a while," Diane Rumbolt of Big Lick Boomerang taxi service said.
Rumbolt started Big Lick Boomerang after seeing the effects of drunk driving first hand. Her company picks people up and drives their home, hoping that added convenience convinces more people to stay safe.
"We've been in that situation ourselves and I'm sure other people have been as well. So we just came in, and we want to help people in the community get where they need to go, get their car where they need to go, and help reduce the number of drunk driving related incidents here in the Valley," Rumbolt.
Roanoke Police say it's too early to tell take a look at the drunk driving arrest rate from the past five years on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Though they were high in 2001 they dropped off even before Uber entered the Roanoke market in 2014. Police say they'll be out enforcing driving laws this weekend, though they don't focus on arrest rates.
"We count our success in a reduced number of victims. We don't count it in the number of people we can arrest, the number of people we can ticket, the number of people we can take to jail. It's all in who we can prevent from being hurt," Patrol Sergeant Susanna Camp said.
Roanoke City will have about 25 officers on normal patrol Saturday night, as well as additional officers paid through a DMV grant. And then there are off-duty officers working some of the bars and clubs around town.