Too drunk to drive? You may also be too drunk to get into an Uber
NEVADA — If you’re too drunk to drive, well you may also be to drunk to get into an Uber. The ridesharing giant wants to patent a system that can detect if if you’ve had too much to drink even before you get in the backseat.
Dave Carpenter, an Uber driver, knows the telltale signs of an intoxicated passenger.
“If someone like a bartender or a friend walks somebody up to a car, that’s a red flag you need to look at,” said Carpenter.
He’s seen it way too many times.
“It happens daily,” said Carpenter.
Over the years, there have been numerous cases of passengers attacking Uber drivers and passengers accusing drivers of sexual assault. Many of these cases involve intoxicated passengers. Uber’s solution — use technology to detect drunk people trying to get a ride.
“We’re responsible for their well-being. You don’t know if they were drugged, if they had alcohol poisoning, if they had a medical condition, a heart attack. We’re not trained for all that,” said Carpenter.
Uber’s algorithm will weigh a variety of factors from typos, to how precisely a user clicks, walking speed and the time of day.
So a rider clumsily typing past midnight on a weekend is likely not sober.
Uber will then either warn drivers, match riders with drivers who have relevant training, or deny the request for a ride.
KTNV reached out to Uber, but got no response.
Carpenter said it could be a game-changer.
“It would be 100 percent safer than what we’re doing now for us to have an idea of what we’re going into,” said Carpenter.