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DUI AND WOMEN

 

Alcohol Is Metabolized Differently In Women

Alcohol affects diverse individuals differently. There are many variables such as stomach content, time of drinking, etc. that affect how it is absorbed into the        blood and therefore how it gets to the brain. Alcohol is absorbed into the body through the intestines, not the stomach. When alcohol is consumed, it passes from the stomach and intestines into the blood. This is a process referred to as absorption. Alcohol is then metabolized by enzymes. In the liver, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) mediates the conversion of alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is rapidly converted to acetate by other enzymes and is eventually metabolized to carbon dioxide and water.

Just as a given amount of alcohol effects people differently, men and women absorb alcohol differently. Women reach a higher BAC faster because they have less water in their bodies and more adipose tissue (fat), which is not easily penetrated by alcohol. Because of their lower proportion of lean body mass, women absorb alcohol more rapidly than men. Women also have lower total body water content than men of comparable size. After alcohol is consumed, it diffuses uniformly into all body water, both inside and outside cells. Because alcohol mixes with body water, a given amount of alcohol becomes more highly concentrated in a woman’s body than in a man’s.  Alcohol also affects women differently than men due to the fact that women metabolize alcohol more slowly. Women have less of the ADH enzyme. This causes a larger proportion of the ingested alcohol to reach the blood system prior to being converted to acetate.

 

 

 

 

WOMEN, BODY TEMPERATURE & BREATH TESTS

Alcohol also affects women differently than men due to the fact that women metabolize alcohol more slowly. Women have less of the ADH enzyme. This causes a larger proportion of the ingested alcohol to reach the blood system prior to being converted to acetate. Women experience fluctuations in hormone levels during their menstrual cycle that may affect the rate of alcohol metabolism. This makes a woman more susceptible to elevated blood alcohol concentrations at different points in the cycle. They will experience their highest BAC during their premenstrual stage. Since body temperature is also elevated at this time, and during menopause, a women’s true blood alcohol level may be overstated because breath testing in California assumes that the temperature of expired breath is 34 degree Celsius (convert to Fahrenheit)- every degree above average will result in a 6.9% false high. In addition, there is also evidence that a woman taking birth control pills will absorb alcohol faster, resulting in higher BAC levels.  Breath testing machines are not designed to accurately test a woman’s blood alcohol level. The breathalyzer was designed for an average man’s lung capacity, which is obviously much different than that of a woman’s. This causes the breathalyzer to read at a higher level, making the test inaccurate in determining a woman’s blood alcohol level.

A man and woman, with all other factors being equal, both drinking the same amount of alcohol, will have different BAC levels. Hers will be higher.

Chemical Tests and Field Tests Were Designed Around a Male Model

It does not help that field sobriety testing and chemical testing are not developed for women. Breath testing machines are not designed to accurately test a woman’s blood alcohol level. The breathalyzer was designed for an average man’s lung capacity, which is obviously much different than that of a woman’s. This causes the breathalyzer to read at a higher level, making the test inaccurate in determining a woman’s blood alcohol level. More importantly, police officers are not trained to assess women for DUI as they are with men. Since women process and respond to alcohol differently than do men, it is much more difficult for an officer, even one with many arrests under his belt, to judge the intoxication level of a woman.

The Walk and Turn Field Sobriety Test does not differentiate between a man’s physiology and that of a woman.  There is no question that we are built differently!   This is especially true of women who have had children.  Child birth will change a women’s physiology, especially in the hips which will make it more difficult to stand or walk in a heel to toe fashion.  Studies have shown that post child bearing women have marked difficulty standing and walking heel to toe even in the absence of alcohol.

Women and Refusals

There is an unfortunate trend in Orange County Dui law enforcement which has resulted in an alarming increase in Refusal charges involving women.  These Refusal charges can result in DMV actions which can lead to suspensions of (1) to (4) years depending on priors without any opportunity for a restricted license. They will also result in longer alcohol programs and possible jail sentences.  If it is alleged that you refused to take an alcohol test you need a lawyer that will review all of the evidence in your case including video and audio tapes and who understands the law which applies to refusals.  In order for a refusal to be sanctioned, if must be shown that you were properly advised of your rights and obligations under the implied consent law and that you knowingly and willfully refused to take or complete a test.  There are many defenses to these refusal allegations.

We can help

If you are a woman who was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, then you need an Orange County DUI attorney who understands the unique defenses that are applicable to women. The Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers of the Law Office of Barry T. Simons are trained on how one gender can affect the results of one’s chemical breath test and of their performance on the field sobriety tests. The unique defenses could make the difference between a conviction or a dismissal of the DUI charges.

 

 

Call 949-497-1729 for a Free  Confidential Consultation

Board Certified In DUI Defense NCDD (1 of 6 In California)

Specialist Member/Board of Directors CDLA

Selected Only OC DUI Super Lawyer 2014-2017

OC Metro Top DUI Attorney

Rated Preeminent By Bar Register

AVVO 10 Top DUI Lawyer

Selected Only OC DUI Super Lawyer 2014-2017

Rated Preeminent By Bar Register

OC Metro Top DUI Attorney

By Barry T. Simons: “It is my honor and privilege to fight for my clients; challenge unjust laws; protect our Constitution and to be a thorn on the side of injustice”.

By Barry T. Simons: “It is my honor and privilege to fight for my clients; challenge unjust laws; protect our Constitution and to be a thorn on the side of injustice”.