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Drunk Driving Deaths Way Down In Nevada

James Palinsad

Nevada is making serious progress against drunk driving with almost 25 percent fewer deaths in 2015 compared with the year before.

As of last week, 61 people had died in alcohol-related crashes in Nevada, 20 fewer than in 2014.

Kathleen Bienenstein is program coordinator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Southern Nevada. She says the advent of ride-sharing services in the state should continue driving the number of deaths down. 

"When a person is drinking, they call a cab," she says. "They get impatient, and they say, 'To heck with it,' and get in their car and go. But with Uber and Lyft, you know, it's a five-minute deal. So they don't have time to change their mind or give up."

Uber and Lyft allow customers to hail a ride using a smartphone app, usually from a part-time driver using their personal car. Both started operating in Nevada after getting the green light from the state back in September.

Uber briefly operated in Nevada in 2014, but was ordered to stop because it wasn't adhering to the rules governing taxis. Lawmakers passed hard-fought bills this spring creating new rules specific to ride-hailing services.