Gender and the DUI Double Standard

DUI double standard womenEquality is worth striving for, whether in politics or getting equal slices of cake. We all want to feel treated fairly and to be seen as equals. But sometimes gender gets in the way. Drinking and DUI are examples of areas in which men and women are not equal.

Women and alcohol don’t mix quite the same way as men and alcohol do.

The metabolism and composition of women’s bodies is different from men. That means obvious differences in size and caloric intake as well as subtle differences, such as the way in which alcohol affects the body or the reasons for drinking. Men may drink to feel part of a community, while women may drink to cope with anxiety, stress or to keep up with their male counterparts.

Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are considered to have more of a male slant in their programs, addressing alcohol addiction and abuse through the lens of men’s experiences. So not only are women at a disadvantage because of biology, but programs that address problems with alcohol can possibly ignore the root of alcohol abuse for women, as well.

On top of that, more alcohol and drinks are marketed to women than ever. Skinny drinks and light beer are especially slanted toward women’s drinking habits, promising fewer calories and less weight gain. Unfortunately, many women find that the value of fewer calories is the feeling they can consume one or two more drinks, eliminating the caloric benefit while raising the actual amount of alcohol consumed.

At the end of the day, despite the differences that gender may spark when it comes to alcohol, there is one thing that remains the same: the consequences for DUI. The majority of U.S. states requires ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders, and many more states either have laws that will expand current access or are expected to resume the legislative process for IID expansion. No matter your gender, remember that drinking alcohol is the leading cause of drunk driving and that you should always have a plan to get home safely.

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