DUIs among women have increased by 29% between 1998 and 2007, a new report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation reports.
FBI statistics show that in 2011, women made up nearly 25% of drunk driving arrests nationwide--up from 10% in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, DUIs among men have been on the decline. While men still account for the majority of DUI arrest, why are more women drinking and driving?
Researchers are pointing to a variety of factors, starting with the fact that women are spending larger proportions of their time on the road. A larger percentage of the female population working means more women commuting.
A shift in gender norms means husbands and boyfriends don't automatically reach for the drivers seat. It's now more culturally acceptable for women to drive while men ride shotgun.
And then there's the uptick in bars catering to girl's nights out, "skinny" shots, and boozy book club get-togethers.
Female biology also plays a factor. The average ratio of water and fat in the body accounts for a difference in how the sexes process alcohol. The liquid content for men is about 70 percent, while woman’s is only 60 percent. The result: even when drinking the same amount of alcohol, women have a higher blood alcohol concentration in the blood than men.
Additionally, when it comes to liver activity, women produce less alcohol digesting enzymes than men--which is another reason why women could get drunk faster. (Read more about factors that affect your BAC.)
Ladies, this is one trend you don't want to be a part of. Use a BACtrack Breathalzyer to educate yourself on how alcohol affects your body, mind, and coordination. Don't guesstimate based on how you feel. Use a breathalyzer and make more informed decisions.