Historically, men have faced drunk driving charges at a much higher rate than women have. There are several possible reasons for this, including the fact that men tended to drink socially more than women did, men engaged in risky behaviors more often, and men tended to overestimate their sobriety at a higher rate.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, government data suggests that far more men face arrest for driving under the influence in Tennessee and around the country than women do. Recently released data shows, however, that the rate at which female drivers face arrest has risen almost 30 percent since 1998. Meanwhile, DUI arrests of men dipped overall during that same time.
The impact of gender on alcohol absorption and BAC
In Tennessee, the legal BAC limit for intoxication is .08. A driver with a BAC at or above that amount faces arrest for driving under the influence. The amount of alcohol imbibed to reach that BAC varies widely from person to person, as does the impact of it on the person. For instance, one person might literally pass out with a blood alcohol content of .08, but another could still seem sober for most intents and purposes. Size, weight, absorption rate, prior drinking experience and gender all play a role in impairment.
Biologically speaking, females actually absorb alcohol faster than comparably sized men do. Men usually have higher levels of cell hydration, which dilutes the alcohol in their systems. There are also metabolic differences between genders. These variances may lead women to hit the legal level of impairment more quickly and to have that impairment last for a longer period. Females also demonstrate a higher rate of impact on visual acuity and dexterity when compared to a man with the same BAC.
With all the possible consequences associated with a DUI conviction, anyone facing drunk driving charges needs an experienced, aggressive defense attorney. If you are arrested for DUI, reach out to a skilled Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.