According to federal statistics, the percentage of DUI attributed to women has risen from 9 percent in 1980 to 25 percent in 2011 and The Traffic Injury Foundation believes it knows why.
The non-profit organization interviewed women from California, Michigan, Missouri, and New York who had recently been arrested for driving under the influence. In their report released last week, they recognized some common denominators amongst those interviewed.
More than half of those interviewed were single, separated, or divorced. More than three fourths indicated that used at least one prescription medication for anxiety, depression or other disorders. What’s more, nearly all of the women indicated that had recently dealt with a stressful event such as a breakup or death in the family.
The study also found that the women who were interviewed fit into one of three categories. The women who were interviewed indicated that drank to “fit in” at parties or bars, to cope with the loneliness after a child is born, or to cope with later life events such as a divorce, death of parents, or a child leaving home.
According to the report, the reasons behind the statistical increase may be attributed to the change of women’s roles in society and the change in social norms. According to the Chicago Tribune, Washington State University associate professor Jennifer Schwartz says women are drinking just as much as they were then. They are, however, driving more now.
It may also be that, since 1980 when Mothers Against Drunk Driving became a political driving force in DUI legislation, state laws have lowered the legal BAC limit from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent thereby increasing the amount of people who are legally DUI.
Ladies, remember that alcohol affects you differently than it does men. This is true even considering body size and if you drink comparable amounts. Sorry ladies (…and don’t get mad at me for saying it), but unfortunately women tend to have more body fat than men. Since alcohol is not fat soluble, it is concentrated in much higher levels in female bloodstreams. Women also have less of the stomach enzyme known as dehydrogenase which metabolizes alcohol before it enters the bloodstream.
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