Since 2007, Metro has stayed open until 3:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as midnight on Sundays. This helped service workers, late-night business professionals and would-be drunk drivers find a safe ride home in the late hours.
However, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager wants to close Metro at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as 10:00 p.m. on Sundays. Additionally, Metro will no longer stay open late for events, such as concerts or marathons, all of which may create a problem in the district.
According to the Washington Regional Alcohol Project, Friday and Saturday evenings are the most dangerous times of the week to close the Metro. After all, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of drunk driving accidents that occur are four times higher at night and approximately 40 percent of all fatal DWI crashes happen on weekend nights.
While the number of drunk driving fatalities have decreased nationwide, the number has actually increased within D.C. in the past few years. In fact, a study conducted by an associate professor at the University of California tracked the number of DWI arrests in correlation with the introduction of late-night services. The findings showed for each additional hour Metro provided a late-night service, the number of drunk driving incidents (both arrests and crashes) decreased by 9 percent.
From this study, and maybe a little common sense, it seems there may be a decrease in the number of people who go out, but an increase in the amount of drunk driving incidents. Essentially, D.C.’s late-night bars and restaurants will suffer, and those who do go out to drink may decide to get behind the wheel in order to get home. Metro needs to stay open late to help keep District residents safe.
The Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP help victims injured in drunk driving accidents. We have helped those who need it in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia for more than 35 years. Call us today to speak to one of our attorneys.