Are Women Treated Fairly in Drunk Driving Arrests?
Although far more men are arrested for driving under the influence, a rising percentage of DUI suspects are female. Changes in law enforcement strategy have landed more women under suspicion of drunk driving, and police officers these days are much less inclined to let a "tipsy" woman off the hook.
Whatever the reason for the increase in the number of arrests, women are at a disadvantage in many ways. The attorneys of Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. are knowledgeable about significant male-female differences in alcohol absorption, DUI sobriety tests and unique issues for women during traffic stops. We have won numerous DUI/DWI cases by highlighting these gender-bias factors.
DUI Defense for Women in DuPage County, Illinois
Our experienced DUI defense lawyers are wise to many issues that adversely affect a woman accused of drunk driving:
- Women metabolize alcohol differently — In general, a woman weighs less than a man and will reach intoxication with fewer drinks. Women also have a higher ratio of fat tissue, less water, and lower levels of enzymes that break down alcohol. This affects the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized. Thus, when the Breathalyzer is administered an hour after a DUI traffic stop, a woman may be more drunk than a man would be, especially if she is petite, thin or young. Breathalyzer tests do not take into account these substantial differences.
- Women are physically different — Women have a different center of gravity than men, and may not be as "athletic" when asked to stand on one leg, do the walk-and-turn or perform other field sobriety tests. Again, these tests were designed for guys, not gals.
- Men don't wear high heels — The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) field testing manual pointedly suggests that female DUI suspects be allowed to take off their shoes, because of the added challenge (and safety issue) of balancing on clogs or spiked heels. We have won DUI cases on this specific bias.
- Women respond differently — Statistically speaking, female suspects are more likely to submit to field sobriety tests and less likely to refuse the Breathalyzer, providing the prosecution with a stronger body of evidence. Speaking again in generalities, women are more likely to have an emotional response to being pulled over, which may affect their verbal responses, performance on tests or the officer's conclusions. Many women also have heightened anxiety when pulled over by a male officer, especially at a remote site in the dark of night.
We Win DUI Cases When Other Lawyers Would Let a Woman Go to Jail
Our attorneys are aware of many mitigating factors that can help our female clients avoid a DUI conviction or limit the penalties. We have rescued many women who had a few drinks after work or went out with friends and found out the hard way that they can't handle alcohol like they once did in college.
Contact Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. toll free at 1-877-335-6693 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.