Changing society yields more drunk driving arrests for women

A recent study found that since 2003, the number of female drivers arrested for driving under the influence as well as alcohol-related deaths significantly increased. The study, conducted by the FBI, took voluntary data from women arrested for drunk driving in three New York counties as well as specific counties in a couple of other states. One researcher studied this data, and she suggests that the increase could be due to the changing social norms for women.

From 2003 to 2012, the annual national DUI arrests for women rose from 174,000 to 211,000, which is a 21 percent increase. In contrast, the number of DUI arrests for men dropped from 780,000 to 650,000, which is about a 17 percent decrease. The researcher who studied this data came up with some theories as to why this number has increased so much for women.

In the modern age, more women are working than ever before, and many of these working women are heads of their households. Even for single women, there appears to be a connection with personal issues, such as a breakup or an argument with a loved one, and drunk driving. It is also far more socially acceptable for a woman to drink in public than it was just a couple of decades ago, which adds to the possibility of driving while intoxicated.

Despite the changing social norms as well as any stress that a woman -- or a man -- may be feeling, a drunk driving arrest will cause more stress. However, if a person is arrested for DWI in New York -- regardless of gender -- that individual has certain legal rights. Any accused person would benefit from ensuring that those rights are protected throughout the criminal process.

Source:, "Why are more women arrested for drunk driving? Number increases nearly 20 percent since 2003", Jay Scott Smith, April 27, 2014

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