Stacey M. Washington, Attorney and CounselorAttorney and Counselor
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The Rising Increase of Women Being Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol


The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) recently reported a dramatic increase in the rise of women being arrested for drunk driving. According to their report, between 1998 and 2007, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) arrests for women rose by 28.8%. 

The TIRF report highlighted interesting characteristics of women drunk drivers. For instance, the report illustrated certain social trends common amongst female drunk drivers such as the lack of stable and supportive relationships and certain life stressors occurring immediately prior to their drunk driving offense. The stressors included domestic arguments, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job or child custody, or the illness or death of a parent or other family member.

Additional research has linked the increase in women DUI convictions to the fact that women are simply driving more. Currently, in the U.S., women drivers outnumber men. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute concluded that as of 2010, more than 105.7 million women were licensed to drive in the U.S., compared with only 104.3 million men.

With the drastic increase of women drivers, it is only natural to see an increase in women drunk driving, in comparison to past decades. Further, researchers expect the population of women drivers to continue to increase which may eventually correlate with even more women being arrested and/or convicted of drunk driving offenses.

Another factor that has been attributed to women drunk driving is the difference between women and men blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. Research shows that women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men.

According to the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education, "in general, women have less body water than men of similar body weight, so...women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol." Hence, with DUI laws lowering the BAC level, more women are now registering as driving while intoxicated.

I recommend you read the TIRF report for a detailed overview of research pertaining to the increase of women driving drunk.

If you have been charged with drunk driving in Washtenaw County, contact me for a case review. I am here to help you through your touchy situation. Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


In The US, Women Drivers Now Outnumber Men

Female Drunk Drivers: A Qualitative Study

Differences Between Men & Women : Alcohol Consumption

DUI demographics point to higher mix of women
FBI data shows more women are being arrested for DUI

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