Women need to be aware of the specific issues that face them when they’re arrested for DUI in Georgia.
Although men account for an overwhelming majority of the arrests for DUI, the percentage of women arrested for DUI is steadily rising. In 1979, women made up only 9% of the total arrests for DUI in Georgia, whereas in 2003, 17% of those arrested for DUI were women.
The biggest factor affecting the number of women arrested for drunk driving is the change in law enforcement’s attitude towards DUI. Law enforcement has placed more emphasis on making DUI arrests than in the past. Due to changing social policies, women face increased scrutiny and less leeway when it comes to encounters with the police. Additionally, the threshold amount of alcohol that one may legally have in her system while driving has been lowered from an alcohol concentration of 0.10 to .08. This has led to a greater number of women being arrested and charged with drunk driving.
The equipment used to determine alcohol concentration is another aspect that women need to understand. Medical experts have recently raised serious doubts about the accuracy of the machines used by Georgia’s law enforcement authorities to calculate the alcohol concentration of women. Current research suggests that the Intoxilyzer 5000, is biased against women.
The Intoxilyzer 5000, is calibrated to men’s physiology and the way a man’s body metabolizes alcohol. However there is ample research available indicating that women metabolize alcohol in a different way than men, and the breath machine fails to take these differences into account. In many cases, this produces skewed test results that falsely report a woman’s alcohol concentration as being higher than it actually is. Given the amount of weight afforded to these test results by the State Legislature, there are many legal issues that may be successfully raised in court regarding the validity of these results as they pertain to women.
These important issues should be raised by a knowledgeable lawyer as they could have a serious impact on the outcome of a case.