Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have alarmed anti-drunk driving advocates: more women are getting arrested for DUI than ever before.
In 2011, the most recent year nationwide statistics are available from the FBI, women accounted for 25 percent of all DUI arrests. Many are concerned because the percentage of arrests was as low as 10 percent in 1980.
The overall number of women getting charged with DUI is increasing, while the overall number of men getting charged is on the way down. These are the findings from a recent study by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
A spokesperson for AAIM says that the increase can be attributed in part to the recession: while there have always been alcoholics, the economy has forced more women into working.
The news story has drawn the predictable responses from all sides (eg, it’s feminism’s fault, or it’s the economy). But one thing remains sure, which is that each defendant in every courtroom is a human being whose life is more than just a case file and arrest report.
I, for one, have seen a marked increase of people drinking because of economic hard times. Many of these people are middle-aged with children in college. They are employed, hard-working, and have never been arrested before.
While no one is condoning driving impaired, it should be remembered that in this jobless recovery, people are more stressed than ever and we should remember to sympathize before we judge.