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On DC Metro Cuts and DUI Charges

by | Mar 14, 2011

It is a sad fact that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is experiencing major funding issues. The system is expected to provide transportation for most of the federal workforce in Washington, DC with insufficient funding from the federal government. WMATA has also had many problems with mismanagement and executive turnover. Riders are getting tired of all the escalator outages and services issues. According to a recent story on WTOP, WAMATA is now considering cutting extended service on Friday and Saturday nights. Currently, trains run until 3:00am on those nights. The new plan would close the system at 12:00am to allow for more maintenance time.

As a Washington, DC DUI charges lawyer, it has been my experience that following service cuts in public transportation during a time when many DUI, DWI, and OWI arrests occur, we are likely to see to an increase in incidents of drunk driving. While it is never a good idea to drink and drive, people are more inclined to do so when their only other option may be a $50 dollar cab ride.

The proposed service cuts have created a disagreement among WMATA board members, the Washington, DC City Council, and others. DC Councilmember Jim Graham, who was among those who pushed for later hours in the first place, has expressed public safety concerns related to an increase in drunk driving. Graham stated that during the initial phase-in of the 3:00am closure, “we were assured by Metro management that the extension of service would have no adverse impact on repair and maintenance. Indeed, the three-year phasing in of the extended hours, was meant to reassure us on that score.” Those in favor of the proposed cutbacks say they may be necessary to keep the system running.