Men have a reputation for being bad drivers. However, women may be catching up to men when it comes to accidents relating to drinking and driving. Statistics show that, lately, women are the cause for more alcohol-involved deaths. Find out the truth behind drunk driving arrests.
The Statistics Behind Drunk Driving Arrests
It’s impossible to say for sure whether women or men drive drunk more frequently. After all, many drunk drivers evade the police. Every night, drunk men and women drive home drunk and avoid detection by law enforcement. However, some of those men and women get caught. By looking at the FBI’s drunk driving arrests, you can learn whether more women or men get caught by the police.
The statistics might be surprising. While many insurance companies consider male drivers to be more risky, those same companies may not realize that women have more drunk driving arrests. The number of women arrested for drinking and driving is on the rise. Since 2003, women have caused more alcohol-involved fatalities. Each year, more women go through the system for DUIs. In addition to having more arrests, women go to court more frequently for DUI charges and face more penalties for those charges.
From 2003 to 2012, the FBI recorded a 21% increase in drunk driving arrests for women. The number rose from 174,00 to 211,000. However, the number of men arrested for drinking and driving dropped by about 17%. The number dropped from 780,000 to 650,000.
While men still experience more arrests for drunk driving, their numbers seem to be on the decline. If women continue to get more DUIs, they may overtake men for drunk driving arrests.
Although the arrests for DUIs rose for women, the number of drunk driving crashes declined in Michigan. According to the Michigan Office for Highway Safety Planning, there were 2,563 drunk driving crashes in 2012. Yet, there were 3,203 in 2003. Only 35 of the crashes in 2012 had fatal results, and most of those crashes involved women between the ages of 21 and 34. The number of crashes also decreased for men.
Why are more women drinking and driving?
There’s no way to say for sure why women are getting more DUIs. However, there are a few interesting theories.
1. Women are driving more miles
For one, there are more women working. Today, there are more women in the workforce than ever before. As a result, women tend to spend more time on the road. This makes them more likely to drive drunk, which increases the chance of arrest.
2. Women are driving more at night
Because more women are working, more women are driving at night. Police often have DUI checkpoints at night. If there are no checkpoints, they tend to be more watchful for drunk drivers. As a result, female drivers are more likely to run into the police. If a woman has a few drinks after work, then this could mean an arrest for drunk driving.
3. It’s more acceptable for women to drink in public
In the past, drinking in public was somewhat taboo for a woman. While women could drink in public, many didn’t. There was a stigma attached to it, and many women wanted to avoid making the wrong impression. However, times changed. More women drink in public, and it is more socially acceptable. As a result, there are more women drunk driving.
4. The elimination of first-time offender programs
A first-time offender program works well to prevent future DUIs. When a state has a first-time offender program, it sends a drunk driver to a treatment center. Instead of processing them through the criminal justice system, the state tries to help them cope with any alcohol problems.
Recently, many states lost their first-time offender diversion programs. As a result, more women go through the criminal justice system. Spending time in jail for a DUI doesn’t often prevent future DUIs. In fact, it may make an individual more likely to have future arrests. The elimination of such programs could make women and men more likely to have future arrests for drunk driving.
Another cause of more women drinking and driving could be stress. With increased pressure at work and in relationships, more women may be turning to alcohol for answers. Changes in society could make them more likely to turn to substance abuse.
One study showed that many DUI arrests occur after a stressful event, like a breakup or a divorce. It’s more likely that personal issues lead to drunk driving arrests than partying.
6. Women tend to get drunk quicker than men
There’s also the biological difference between men and women. If a man and a woman weigh the same, the woman will get drunk quicker than the man. As a result, she would have a higher blood alcohol content than him.
No matter what the reasons may be, more women are facing drunk driving arrests. It’s more important than ever for women to drive cautiously. If you find yourself facing a DUI charges, contact a lawyer.