Friday, August 7, 2009

More women being arrested for DWI

According to statistics, the number of women being arrested for drunk driving increased more than 28% across the nation between 1998 and 2007 while the number of men arrested decreased. What's more, women are more likely to be caught driving with children in the car.

Among the reasons cited for the increase are the increased pressures women are feeling at home and in the workplace, an increase in the amount of time women spend driving and an increase in uninhibited behavior by younger women.

A federal study indicates that women are drinking more today than ever before. Between 1993 and 2002, the number of women who consumed more than four drinks a day (considered a sign of alcohol abuse) rose from 1.5% to 2.6%. The number of heavy drinkers among 30-44 year old women more than doubled - from 1.5% to 3.3%.

In fact, the daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia plead guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated with children in the car.

This increase means that a DWI lawyer is likely to have more female clients than in the past. This becomes important in a breath test case because the breath test machines used by law enforcement don't take into account the physiological differences between men and women.

When a person consumes alcohol, the alcohol looks for water in the body to settle. This is one of the reasons alcohol makes a bee-line to the brain. Since women have a lower percentage of water in their bodies than men, a woman's alcohol concentration will be higher than that of a man of similar stature. Women also tend to have less lung capacity which can affect the result of a breath test. The argument can thus be made that in a close case, the breath test machine overestimates the alcohol concentration in a woman.

In some cases that can be the difference between an acquittal and a conviction for life.

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