Women Are the New Drunk Driving Challenge for Law Enforcement

nails.jpgAccording to a study, the number of DUI arrests involving women has increased by 36% over the last decade. Men comprise the majority of all DUI arrests in the country, but women have been catching up.

According to the study, the factors influencing male and female drinking are extremely different. Many DUI arrests involving women, seem to be linked to drinking in the daytime while caring for children. This has led sociologists to speculate that this increase in DUI arrests involving women has to do with parenting-related stresses. The study noted that the majority of women who were arrested for DUI are the primary caregivers for their children. The Department of Transportation will focus on tackling this safety problem during its annual holiday enforcement campaign.

Another drunk driving-related study however has fewer surprises for Indiana personal injury lawyers. The study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that parents, who drive under the influence, are more likely to pass on such destructive driving practices to their children. When a teenage motorist has a mother who drives under the influence, his or her risks of driving under the influence are higher than for teenage drivers whose mothers do not drive under the influence. Approximately 18% of teenagers whose mothers drove intoxicated also drove intoxicated, compared to 11% of teens whose mothers did not drive under the influence. In the case of the fathers, the impact seems to even greater. Teenage motorists with fathers who drove under the influence were much more likely to drive under the influence, than teens whose fathers did not drive under the influence of alcohol. The percentage of teen DUIs whose fathers also drove under the influence was 21.4%

The results of the study, although not surprising, confirm that parents who drink and drive are not only increasing their risks of an accident, but also increasing their children’s risk of an accident by passing on these dangerous and reckless driving practices to their children. Teenage drivers may deem parental driving practices as extremely acceptable, and parents need to remember that. This acceptance of parental driving practices is also one of the reasons why you find such high rates of cell phone use and texting while driving by teens. There are studies that have found that parents who text while driving or use cell phones while driving with a teen child in the car, are much more likely to find that their children indulge in these practices too.

Parents need to set an example for their children, and this holiday season would be the right time to start. In Indiana, highway safety agencies are expected to trigger their annual seatbelt and drunk driving crackdowns. Teen and young drivers are at the highest risk for both drunk and distracted driving, and the rates of such offenses are likely to soar over the next couple of weeks.