CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Attorney Mark Peper says that as bars and restaurants open back up, there has been an increase in DUI arrests.

“We have seen a steady increase, now that things are opening back up a little bit, of people getting back on the road and making some bad decisions.”

Mark Peper, Attorney

Bad decisions, maybe in part Peper says, because it’s harder to make the right one:

“I think a lot of it stems from the concern that they are getting into the unknown, right? How do they know that this Uber driver or this Lyft driver is practicing social distancing, how do they know that the car is being cleaned out? What procedures have been put in place?”

Mark Peper, Attorney

And the numbers don’t lie; this May the Charleston Police Department reported more DUI incidents than last May, despite the many restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Dorchester County, the Sheriff’s Office says they haven’t seen any significant changes, but they are aware of the concerns:

“Everybody’s concerned about getting in the cab with someone else, or getting in an Uber with somebody else, right now with the COVID thing, but above all, don’t take any chances, make sure you get a designated driver to get you home.”

Lt. Rick Carson, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office

Peper says that ride-share vehicles, are a lot safer than you’d think:

“Lyft, Uber, they have all taken a ton of safety measures, and put them in place, every driver must wear a mask, every rider must wear a mask, and further, they have to keep the windows down, keep the air circulating, they have to clean the car out twice a day, so I want your viewers to understand, it is safe to get in an Lyft or Uber.”

Mark Peper, Attorney

As always, if you are still concerned about getting in a taxi, take turns in your group of friends being the designated driver, and making sure everyone gets home safe.