DUI arrests in Rapid City appear to be on decline — is rideshare the reason?

RAPID CITY, S.D. — In 2017, DUI arrests have dropped considerably for the Rapid City Police Department and Pennington County law enforcement.

Both departments feel that rideshare options may have a role to play.

In 2017 both offices recorded just over 1,000 DUI arrests in RCPD’s jurisdiction. In 2019 trends have lowered to 723 arrests. While the number still seems high, the departments agree the numbers have been declining.

“DUI enforcement was and will remain a top priority for the police department however I think we have been able to see how ride sharing has had a very positive impact on the number of DUIs in Rapid City itself,” said RCPD Assistant Chief Don Hedrick.

Rideshare was introduced to Rapid City in late 2017 and early 2018. Officers believe that this service has had an impact on the number of arrests.

“Over the last three years I have noticed a very steep decline in the number of people who are driving impaired and I have seen a very steep incline in the amount of Lyft and Uber cars I see waiting outside of bars waiting to take people home,” said Deputy Anthony White of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy White says that a DUI arrest can cost thousands of dollars for legal fees and fines. A rideshare saves money and saves lives.

Categories: Crime, Local News