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
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.