Although the police may arrest a driver of either gender, the risk of facing DUI charges is greater if you are female. While the notion of gender-bias arises in many situations, few people realize there are a variety of reasons that DUI arrests tend to be gender biased. Because of certain metabolic characteristics of women and other factors, the likelihood that a woman will be arrested and convicted of DUI is substantially higher. Kansas DUI Defense Attorney Stacey Schlimmer understands how to use these gender based distinctions to effectively defend those accused of DUI in Kansas.
Women will typically have a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than men even when they consume the same quantity of alcohol. While the tendency of men to weigh more than women is one reason for this disparity, these differences do not tell the whole story. Distinctions in the physiology and body chemistry between genders mean that men and women metabolize alcohol at different rates. An enzyme referred to as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) plays a fundamental role in initiating the metabolic breakdown of alcohol in the stomach. Studies show that the concentration of this enzyme is only about half the level in women that it is in men. Because women have less ADH, more of the alcohol they consume is absorbed by the small intestines causing women’s BAC level to rise higher. Research reveals that this difference in ADH levels can result in a five to ten percent difference in BAC levels between men and women.
While differences in body weight between men and women constitute an obvious factor in women having a higher BAC level, there are other physiological distinctions. On average, women have a higher percentage of body fat as opposed to muscle than men. Because the volume of blood in muscle tissue is higher than in fat tissue, the alcohol present in the blood of males is more diluted than in women. Women also have between five to twenty percent less water than women which also means that the concentration of alcohol in men’s blood is more diluted.
Field Sobriety Testing (FSTs) & Physical Observations
Because women often wear clothes and footwear that make it more difficult to walk or perform FSTs, they are more likely to be asked to submit to a chemical test of breath, blood or urine. Women wearing a skirt but concerned about modesty when exiting a vehicle or attempting to walk heel-to-toe in 2 inch heels may appear unsteady or lose their balance. While police officers are supposed to have women take off high heels and perform FSTs on solid even ground, apparel and shoes can put women at a disadvantage.
Kansas City DUI defense attorney Stacey Schlimmer aggressively defends those accused of alcohol-impaired driving offenses in Johnson County or the surrounding areas of Kansas. Our Kansas DUI defense law firm offers a confidential free consultation so call us today at 913-219-5424 or contact us online.