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DUI Defenses for Women: How Body Type and Breath Tests Pose an Unfair Bias

Jeff Cole
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan & Cole

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You don’t think you were driving drunk. You had one glass of wine, and you waited over an hour before driving home. So when the police gave you a copy of your blood test results, you were shocked to see that your BAC was just over the legal limit. Should you just plead guilty, or is there a way to dispute the evidence in court?

4 Factors That Can Affect a Woman’s DUI Defense

Men and women are as different as night and day, especially when it comes to driving under the influence. Consider the following important differences between men and women when it comes to intoxication:

  • Body types. Women’s bodies have a higher fat content than men’s. As alcohol is not easily absorbed into fatty tissues, women will typically reach higher blood alcohol levels quicker than men. In addition, women generally weigh less than men, causing alcohol to become more highly concentrated in a woman's body than in a man's body.
  • Absorption rates. Not only are women more likely to feel the effects of alcohol quicker than men, it also takes longer for women to metabolize alcohol, meaning they will stay intoxicated longer than men who have consumed similar amounts of alcohol.
  • Hormonal fluctuations. As incredible as it may seem, a woman’s hormone fluctuations during ovulation can affect the rate at which women absorb and process alcohol. Many women experience higher breath or blood alcohol levels during their pre-menstrual stage, as a woman's body temperature is elevated during this time. The date on which a blood or breath test is taken from a female driver can lead to significant overestimation in BAC results.
  • Breath tests. Most breath testing devices were designed using an average man as a subject, and can give false readings to those with smaller lung capacities, including women and teenagers. Many breath testing devices are calibrated using the typical physiological data of a man, with no way to adjust the device when taking readings from female or younger drivers.

The DUI defense attorneys at Zimmer, Duncan, and Cole, LLP know how to discredit the evidence in your case to reduce or even dismiss the charges against you. Call us today at 888-733-2992 or fill out our quick online contact form to discuss the details of your case.


Category: Criminal Defense


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