Why Female DWI Arrests Have Increased
When it comes to arrests for driving while intoxicated, men far outpace women. According to a Texas Department of Public Safety report, 48,332 men were arrested in 2016 for DWI, as opposed to 13,384 women. Annual arrest totals for each gender have decreased by an almost identical percentage since 2012. Looking further back at DWI statistics showed a different trend between genders. Since 1999:
- The number of male DWI arrests in Texas has decreased by 40 percent; and
- The number of female DWI arrests in Texas has increased by 12 percent.
To be fair, the lowest male arrest total for one year since 1999 is still more than twice as much as the highest female arrest total. Because of the lower number of female arrests, small fluctuations will appear as higher percentage changes. However, the data correlates with an even longer trend of female DWI arrests increasing from previous generations. There are several societal changes that may explain the increase:
- Women Drinking More: Previous generations were more likely to look down upon women who drank to excess in the same manner as men. Expectations have changed for how women may imbibe in social settings. With increased career responsibilities, women may also feel the need to drink in order to relieve stress or fit in with their co-workers. Unfortunately, many women are physiologically at greater risk of becoming intoxicated than men, even if they drink the same amount or are the same weight. The reason has to do with how their bodies process alcohol and the percentage of fat and water that make up their bodies.
- Women Driving More: When women in previous generations went out to drink, they were often in the company of a man, who was responsible for the driving. Now, women are more likely to drive themselves to social outings. This naturally increases the chance that a woman will be stopped on suspicion of DWI.
- Police Treatment: Instead of their being more intoxicated woman drivers than before, it is possible that more women are being arrested. Police officers in previous generations, most of whom were male, may have let many female drivers off with a warning. While beneficial to the women, it also reflected a lack of respect for female drivers as adults who could make responsible decisions. Modern police officers, who include an increasing number of women, may be trying to hold female drivers accountable.
Your gender does not change your rights in terms of contesting a DWI charge. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can help you fight the charges brought against you. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.