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Why are women getting more DUIs?

Only about one-quarter of people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are female. However, that represents a whopping 15 percent rise in women facing DUIs since early in the 1980s.

Even though DUI fatalities have dropped more than half since that time, the number of women getting behind the wheel when they're impaired is headed in the wrong direction. Why is that?

Of course, simple biology is one factor that causes women to become more impaired more quickly by alcohol than men. They're generally smaller, thinner and consume less and lower-fat food. All of these things cause alcohol to impact them more seriously than it does men.

However, that's always been the case. Why are women increasingly driving under the influence? That has a lot to do with the fact that overall, they're drinking more. Much of this has to do with women's changing role in society.

They're often no longer "just" moms and housewives or "just" career women. They're juggling all of that. Often they're single moms dealing with a job and kids without much help. Therefore, they're facing increased stress that often causes them to reach for a drink or two. Women are also more likely today to find themselves in unfamiliar social situations, whether work-related or personal, where alcohol can be a welcome social lubricant.

Women are more welcome, or at least accepted, in the public sphere than decades ago. For example, at one time "respectable" women didn't drink in restaurants and bars unless they were with their husband or a date, who drove them home. However, with more women reaching higher echelons in the workplace, it's not unusual to go out and have a few drinks after work with colleagues, friends or even alone, and get behind the wheel at the end of the evening.

Drunk driving has often been associated with men, especially younger ones, who have a reputation for being more reckless on the road. However, as the head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes, "women are unfortunately picking up some of the same terrible, reckless behaviors that men have exhibited."

If you've been arrested and charged with DUI, it's essential to understand the impact that a conviction could have on your life and career. That's why you should seek the help of an experienced Maryland DUI attorney who can help work to mitigate the consequences.

Source: Breathe Easy Insurance, "Troubling Trends: Women and Drunk Driving," accessed Sep. 04, 2017

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