More Women Being Charged with Drunk Driving

When people think of drunk driving offenders, they often imagine middle-aged people with drinking problems, football fans engrossed in their team's win or college students who don't believe they are impaired. In each of these scenarios, the imagined culprit is a man.

In fact, two-thirds of consumers recently surveyed by the American Automobile Association (AAA) believe that men are more likely to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) then women. While more men are convicted of drunk driving offenses, an increasing number of women are being charged with DUIs. According to a report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the number of women who received a DUI increased 36 percent, while the number of men charged decreased by 10 percent.

Changing Cultural Norms

The rise in female DUI's may be attributable to a number of factors, including a greater social acceptance of women drinking. AAA's study revealed that 79 percent of consumers think it is more socially acceptable for women to drink now than compared to 20 years ago.

Also, 30 percent of those surveyed did not think women processed alcohol differently than men. However, women can become intoxicated quicker because they have a higher concentration of body fat or variations in hormonal levels that affect how alcohol is processed. Just one 16-ounce frozen margarita or a few cocktails can easily cause an average-size female who drinks during a two-hour time period to reach the .08 blood alcohol limit quicker than a man. While amounts will vary by person, it is important to understand that it may not take much alcohol to become legally impaired.

Combine this with increasing family pressures and work functions that encourage socialized drinking, and it is understandable that more women are driving while their ability is impaired.

Men Still in the Majority

Men still make up more than three-fourths of all DUI arrests. Yet with more states increasing DUI patrols and incorporating "no refusal" policies, it is likely that more women will be charged with drunk driving.

If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense in Colorado, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and options.

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