For years women have been criticized and stereotyped for their alleged poor driving skills.
Now in response to a Labor Day law enforcement campaign, a new study shows the number of DUIs given to women have increased by 30 percent over the past decade.
According to the campaign “Over the Limit, Under Arrest,” driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most common, and deadliest, offenses.
CNN reports that, even though men still out-number women 4-to-1 when it comes to arrests for driving while under the influence, the increase in women’s DUI arrests has skyrocketed over the past decade by 30 percent.
The Alabama DUI laws consider someone driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more as breaking the law. On average, more than 2 million drivers with numerous alcohol arrests are on the roads every day.
Alcohol-related accidents kill people every 22 minutes, and 50 percent of those drivers are drunk, according to addiction.lovetoknow.com.
Though the statistics are shocking, they do not offer any speculation as to why the number of women DUI arrests has increased.
The National Institute of Health addresses women and drinking in their booklet “Alcohol: A Woman’s Health Issue.” The booklet points out that the amount of alcohol intake manageable for men and women is different.
About one-third of American women consumes alcoholic beverages, and from that collection only one out of 10 drinks more than two drinks a day.
Some risks listed in “Alcohol: A Woman’s Health Issue” include drinking and driving.
The National Institute of Health reports the chances of being killed by a woman increase because the blood alcohol level for a 140-pound woman who has consumed only one 8-ounce beverage without any food in her stomach is near the illegal limit.
Ruth Crocker, professor of history and director of women’s studies, says she thinks the economic pressures women feel today could possibly be related to the increase.
“To a greater extent than men, women have to juggle family, child care and employment responsibilities,” Crocker said.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings is 20 percent less in Alabama. The percent of women above the poverty level was recorded at 45 percent.
Alabama received a grade of F on the Composite Employment and Earnings Index provided by research from the IWPR.
“Drinking could be a way to cope from being overworked, having extra stresses at home and other responsibilities,” said Laura Obert, a graduate student in counseling psychology.
Other experts point their fingers at the media. In a CNN report, a member of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving speculated that television has made drinking more socially acceptable among women.
“Drunk driving is a serious matter,” said Elizabeth D’amico, a freshman in biomedical sciences. “To hear that the statistics for women’s DUIs have increased so much over the past decade is really upsetting. I know being in college, drinking is certainly more acceptable. I just hope people use their better judgement before they drive.”