A 2014 study focused on drunk driving cases across the nation revealed that DUI arrests had increased for women while similar arrests for men had declined.
Those responding, from judges to alcohol treatment professionals, confirmed that there was an upswing in the number of women going through the justice system. Why have DUI arrests for women gone up?
About the study
Data collected by the FBI shows that DUI arrests for women increased 21 percent nationwide between 2003 and 2012. Research scientist Erin Holmes, of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation in Ontario, Canada, studied the numbers from counties and their court systems in Michigan, California, Missouri and New York. In 2012, in Michigan alone, 35 crashes caused by women between the ages of 21 and 34 resulted in fatalities.
Reasons for DUI arrests among women
As the result of her research, Ms. Holmes pointed out that more women are in the workforce now, driving more miles and frequently at night, possibly after stopping for drinks with friends. The study shows that an arrest for DUI often follows a stressful event, such as an argument with a husband or boyfriend, a broken relationship or a divorce. Another reason that women arrested on DUI charges show up in the criminal justice system is that some counties have eliminated the diversion programs for first offenders.
Women and alcohol
When drinking, women metabolize alcohol in a different way from men. A woman of 150 pounds versus a man of the same weight will become drunk more quickly on the same amount of alcohol. Since Wisconsin lowered the legal limit for driving, people who once thought they were fine driving after three drinks may have a blood alcohol concentration level that is over the legal limit, which is now 0.08 percent.
Alcohol impairs judgement, and when law enforcement arrests a woman for DUI, especially if she is a first offender, the experience can be quite frightening. This is where an experienced criminal defense attorney comes in with advice and representation, helping the individual understand her rights and how the justice system works, with a goal of achieving the best outcome possible for her case.