Mother, career woman, caretaker of the home and master chef, these are just a few roles that women are expected to play in the twenty-first century. Although each role takes the time and energy of a full time job, women are expected to play them all at the same time. A report by the Chicago Tribune discusses how these pressures are likely connected to the increase in women receiving
driving under the influence, or DUI, charges.The increase is supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The report noted that women arrested for drunk driving crimes often fit the following criteria:

  • Educated. These women are often highly educated, motivated, professional women.
  • Stressed. A survey conducted by the Traffic Injury research Foundation found women who were arrested often had a major life stressor occur prior to the arrest.
  • Responsible. Compared to their male counterparts, women charged with these crimes are more likely to complete supervision and required treatment programs.

Additional commonalities included the fact that most of these women were the primary caregivers of their children and often receive less compensation within their profession than men in the same position.

It is important to note that there is some controversy on the reasoning behind the increase rate of DUIs for women. Although some professionals point to mounting pressures to conquer everything and conquer it well, others state that the number of women drinking is the same. Instead, they point to an increase in the number of women driving. This argument could go along with the first, since more women are likely driving because they now feel increased pressure to join the workforce.

Another factor which merits consideration, is the biological differences between men and women and how that relates to the metabolism of alcohol. Women generally have lower levels of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase in their liver. This enzyme aids in the metabolism of alcohol and due to the lower levels present in most women; it is likely that a woman who drinks the same amount as a man (per pound) will have a significantly higher blood alcohol level when tested. Colorado law does not take this into account and in fact the legal limits for men and women are the same.

Whatever the reason that led to the DUI, one thing is clear: more women are receiving DUI charges.

DUI law in Colorado

In Colorado, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. However, even those who have a BAC of 0.05 can receive charges for impaired driving, or driving while ability impaired (DWAI).

It is important to take these charges seriously. DUI and DWAI convictions come with both criminal and administrative penalties. Criminal penalties can include fines and imprisonment while administrative penalties include license suspension and accumulation of points against a driver’s license. Penalties increase in severity if an accident or injuries resulted from the incident.

If you are charged with a drunken driving crime, defenses are available. If an officer did not follow the law, your rights may have been violated. If your rights were violated, charges could be reduced or even dismissed. Contact an experienced Colorado DUI lawyer to better ensure your rights are protected.