The Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps tabs on all kinds of statistics, such as the number of people arrested in the U.S. on drunk driving charges.
The statistics show that there has been a marked increase in the number of women charged with DUI. Why is this happening?
What the statistics indicate
Between 2003 and 2012, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence across the country increased by 21 percent, from 174,000 to 211,000. However, the arrests of men suspected of DUI decreased by almost 17 percent - from 780,000 to 650,000 - during the same period.
How alcohol works
How you absorb alcohol into your system depends on your sex and physical makeup. Men and women metabolize alcohol differently, with the result that women become drunk more quickly. If a man and a woman who both weigh 150 pounds drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman's blood alcohol content will be higher than the man's BAC.
Why more women are facing charges
A study conducted by a research scientist and presented at the Michigan Traffic Safety Summit focused on the number of women arrested for drunk driving in various Michigan, California and New York counties. The findings showed that there are more women in the workforce now and more out drinking in public than in years past. Many women are traveling longer distances to and from work and driving at night, when it is more likely law enforcement will stop them on suspicion of DUI. Strained marriages or broken relationships also take their toll, and the stress sometimes leads to drinking and driving.
Facing the consequences
It is common for people to believe they will have no trouble driving after having enjoyed two or three drinks. However, alcohol impairs judgment, reflexes and vision, and a traffic stop comes with serious consequences. A criminal defense attorney will tell you that in the state of Maryland, motorists arrested for driving under the influence face both civil and criminal penalties. Unfortunately, many women are among those charged with DUI.