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Female DUI in Fresno

DUI Laws in California

More men are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in California than women. However, the gap has narrowed in past years. There are some issues regarding alcohol and DUIs that impact women differently than men.

In California, if you are driving under the influence, you will be arrested for a DUI. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is the limit in California, though this number is lower for minors and commercial drivers. The police test a driver's BAC by using breath or blood chemical tests. In the Fresno area, police may also use field sobriety tests (FSTs), driving patterns, or other objective signs of intoxication to arrest a person for DUI.

Consumption of alcohol can affect people differently based on their weight. This can also affect men and women differently. As an example, a male who weighs 150 pounds and consumes three alcoholic drinks within one hour is estimated to have a BAC of 0.075%. However, a female who weighs the same, and also consumes three alcoholic drinks in the same amount of time would have an estimated BAC of 0.094%. The reasons for these skewed results may be based on biological, societal, and behavioral influences.

Field Sobriety Tests (FST)

Field sobriety tests may impact men and women differently.

Safety Issues: Law enforcement is a male dominated industry. Police and highway patrol officers are more likely to be male. DUI stops often take place at night, after dark. A female driver may be more hesitant to comply with a male officer's requests in a dark location, away from the public. This hesitancy may manifest itself as anxiousness or nervousness when a male officer demands a driver step out of the car, and do field sobriety tests. An officer may incorrectly assume that the anxious behavior has to do with the influence of alcohol.

Stress Reaction: Anyone who is stopped by the police for suspicion of DUI will be stressed. However, men and women can react differently to stressful situations. A police officer may falsely assume a persons reaction to stress is a sign that they are guilty, or that they are under the influence of alcohol. This may lead the police to arbitrarily arrest someone without any evidence that they are intoxicated.

Shoes and Footwear: When an officer asks a driver to complete a field sobriety tests, they type of shoes a driver is wearing may affect their FST results. Female drivers may be wearing high-heeled shoes which can be less stable that flat soled shoes. Even if the police allow the driver to remove high-heeled shoes, the tests may be difficult to complete when they are barefoot, walking on the asphalt in the dark. This may give inaccurate sobriety results.

Breath and Blood Chemical BAC Tests

Chemical testing can affect men and women differently.

Hormones and body temperature: A females body temperature can fluctuate over the course of the month. This could result in an inaccurate breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer device was designed for use in the average person, and is not calibrated to account for fluctuations in body temperature.

Body composition: Females tend to have a higher percentage of body fat than males. This can impact the BAC of a female driver. Fat does not absorb alcohol, which can result in a higher level of alcohol in the blood for females over males even though they may have consumed the same amount of alcohol.

Fresno DUI Defense Lawyers Serving the Entire Central Valley

We have the skills, knowledge and professional representation to guide you through the legal process from beginning to end. If you have questions regarding a DUI in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, or Madera counties, do not hesitate to contact Wapner Jones P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Fill out our online contact form today, or call (559) 257-4707.

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