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Is alcohol really more dangerous for women than for men?

| Jul 16, 2021 | Drunk driving

Having a drink after a long day at work or a stressful week can help you relax. Alcohol is also a social lubricant that can make it easier for you to relate to your coworkers or a client when you’re trying to close a deal.

Whether you go out with your friends or people from your work, it’s important that you know your own limits when it comes to alcohol. Getting behind the wheel after you’ve had a few drinks could easily lead to criminal charges if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) goes up over the legal limit of 0.08%.

Many resources that aim to help people avoid drunk driving charges will warn that women can generally consume fewer drinks than men can. Is there really a sex-based difference in how alcohol impacts the human body?

Women will usually tolerate fewer drinks than men will

There are noted physiological differences and how male and female bodies process and tolerate alcohol. The same number of drinks can lead to a much higher BAC in a woman than in a man. Women usually have less water in their bodies than men who are roughly the same size. The same amount of alcohol will cause a higher BAC in the woman as a result.

Additionally, the long-term effects of alcohol can be more severe for women than for men. It takes women less time than men who consume alcohol to develop damage to their liver or increase their risk of heart disease.

While women get pulled over less frequently, their risk may be higher

Statistics show that while more women have gotten arrested for drunk driving in recent years, it remains a male-dominated offense. There are four crashes caused by drunk male drivers for every one crash caused by a female driver under the influence.

While enforcement information about drunk driving shows that men are more likely than women to cause crashes while under the influence, but that doesn’t mean that women can ignore the consequences of drinking and driving. The way that alcohol affects the female body might mean that a woman who thinks she is safe to drive could wind up arrested for drunk driving.

Knowing the potential risks and factors that can aggravate your impairment, like drinking too fast or on an empty stomach, can help you make smart decisions about when to drive. It can also help you fight back if you do get charged with a drunk driving offense.