When it comes to drinking and driving, not everyone is getting the message. Although there are public service ads and campaigns running all the time in every state in the USA, women drunk drivers are being arrested in record numbers.
According to Driving.ca, the FBI found that the number of men who were charged with drunk driving offenses has gone down somewhat. During the period of 1998 and 2007 the number of men who were arrested for drunk driving dropped by seven and a half per cent. They also found that twenty three percent fewer male drunk drivers under the age of eighteen were arrested for drinking and driving.
Considering that, if there was a stereotypical or average drunk driver it would be a male in his early 20’s, it’s hard to believe that women drunk drivers are seeing an increase when males are seeing a decrease. Yes, young men are still netting about eighty percent of all arrests in North America, but women drunk drivers have increased by around twenty eight percent during the same period reported on by the FBI. Women under the age of eighteen saw an increase too, and there were almost fourteen percent more young drunk drivers arrested during that time.
There’s only one question that can be raised from data like this, and it’s why are women drunk drivers making such a dangerous choice ? There are a few reasons why drunk driving researchers believe this is happening:
Women drunk drivers choose any way home over public transportation
Because of the very real worry of sexual assault in a taxi or getting attacked on a bus late at night, women would rather drive home alone. That leads to women drunk drivers making a choice to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, even if they know they shouldn’t.
More men than women are stopped by police
According to Ottawa, Canada’s Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s research on the topic, women are generally only charged with drunk driving if they are involved in a crash or a physical or verbal altercation with a police officer. That means that many drunk driving offenses could have gone unreported.
Women are ignoring anti-drunk driving campaigns
It’s the ultimate in ‘It can’t happen to me’ thinking, but according to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, the usual type of scary messages and images don’t seem to reach out as effectively to females as they do to males.
At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter why women drunk drivers are making this choice; the only thing that matters is that they are, and that choice could end in injury or death for anyone on the road with them.