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A potential gender disparity in drunk driving arrests

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2023 | DWI

Getting behind the wheel of a car after having a few alcoholic drinks can be a risky proposition. The outcome could range from arrests to accidents.

Drunk driving can result in a decline in visual functions and challenges, not to mention reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and reduced response rates on the road. At .08 concentration (or .04 for commercial drivers licenses), the limit where an arrest can occur, drunk drivers can suffer short-term memory loss, challenges in maintaining speed, and reduced information processing capability.

Factors that affect BAC

Weight, quantity, and food consumption can impact blood alcohol consumption (BAC). In addition, gender plays a role as well when it comes to alcohol absorption and metabolism rates. In reality, women are actually more at risk of arrest and criminal charges due to their body composition. Simply put, they can have a BAC more than men after having the same number of alcoholic drinks.

Conversely, males metabolize one drink in about two hours and three drinks in six hours. Seven hours after four drinks in the same span of time puts their BAC at zero seven hours after consumption. However, females have less water in their bodies, so they do not metabolize the liquor at the same rate.

Timing can make a difference

Chemical testing can be potentially prejudicial to those accused of drunk driving. However, timing may be on the side of those accused, not to mention the gender disparity. Certain factors can play a role in minimizing or eliminating the potential consequences of a conviction. Those include:

  • The exact time of the BAC determination
  • The BAC level at the time of testing
  • The time that the sample was drawn
  • Methods that determined the BAC
  • Time spent driving
  • The time following the last consumed drink
  • The overall amount of alcohol consumed
  • The time between the last drink and the test
  • Amount and type of food consumed
  • Height, weight, mental state, and drinking pattern

A drunk driving charge has countless moving parts. Moving forward without legal counsel and entering an immediate guilty plea is not in anyone’s best interests. An attorney skilled in this complex area of the law can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal.