If you try to picture a scene in which someone is being pulled over for drunk driving, you probably picture that person being a young to middle aged man or maybe a teenage boy. The common factor here is that most people think of males when they think of drunk driving. This isn’t just an unreasonable bias, because it is actually true that more men than women drive under the influence of alcohol. However, that doesn’t mean that women don’t also get charged with this crime. There are some interesting differences between the two genders when it comes to facing DUI charges, and today, we’re going to discuss what you need to know if you are a woman who is charged with a DUI in Clemson, South Carolina.
Women Process Alcohol Differently Than Men
Men’s and women’s bodies are different, so it is not surprising that a woman’s body would process alcohol in a different way than a man’s body. Yet, many people are completely unaware of this. What it means is that, as a woman, your body typically doesn’t need as much alcohol to become drunk as a man’s body would need. Thus, you may have the same amount of alcohol as a man you might be drinking with, but you could be more impaired than you realize, if you assume that you are no more impaired than the man.
It is not uncommon for anyone to think that they are safe to drive after having very few drinks, but women are more at risk for this misconception about their own level of intoxication because it doesn’t take as much for a woman to become impaired as it might take for a man. Of course, this is not going to be the case for everyone. Other factors, such as how frequently you drink, your weight, your metabolism, etc. will also factor into it, and you may be far more sober than your male companions after the same number of drinks, depending on these different factors. Yet, it is certainly worth noting that women are, in general, more susceptible to intoxication based on how the body processes alcohol in different genders.
Society is Harder on Women Who Choose to Drink
Even in today’s modern world where it is becoming more and more socially acceptable for everyone to drink, where people are portrayed using alcohol to cope with life on television, in movies, in commercials, and in general, society is still harder on women who drink than it is on men. This is important to understand because if you are a woman facing a DUI charge, the judge may be harsher on you than you might think, and harsher than they would be on a man, without even the judge even recognizing or being aware of his or her own gender bias. This gender bias is also observed in male and female judges, equally, without either being aware of it.
Does Your Gender Actually Affect Your Blood Alcohol Content?
There are many things that will affect your blood alcohol content (BAC) beyond how much alcohol you drink. This includes your weight, your tolerance, your metabolism, your age, and yes, even your gender. Part of the issue is that alcohol is diluted in water, so the amount of water weight that you carry can impact your BAC level. For men, who usually have more water weight, this can cause their BAC to be lower than it is for a woman who is likely to have less water weight. Then, there is the relevance of a particular enzyme that breaks down alcohol in your stomach. Men often have much more of that enzyme than women do.
Facing a DUI Charge in Clemson, South Carolina Does Not Mean You Will Be Convicted
Knowing that you are more at risk for being charged with a DUI as a woman who makes the mistake of driving after a few drinks can be scary. Knowing that there is an unconscious gender bias against you in court can be even scarier. It is important to understand, here, that your situation is not hopeless, and that being charged with a DUI does not mean you will be convicted automatically. In fact, there are pre-trial intervention programs that could keep you from having to go in front of a judge at all, depending on your situation and history.
Further, there is a presumption of innocence (innocent until proven guilty) that will apply to your case, regardless of gender, if you do go to court; and you have a right to have your case tried in a court of law and for evidence to be required to convict you. With a skilled Clemson, South Carolina DUI defense attorney, like those at The Bateman Firm, you do have a good chance of successfully avoiding conviction.
With the presumption of innocence principle, you must be proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, and your attorney can help to bring reasonable doubt into the equation. Keep in mind that it is the job of the prosecution to prove that you are guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, of committing the crime of driving under the influence. You do not have to prove that there is reasonable doubt, if the prosecution cannot prove that there isn’t. However, providing evidence of reasonable doubt is a good way to strengthen your claim.
The reasonable doubt could include a doubt as to whether or not you were actually intoxicated, whether or not you were actually driving the vehicle while intoxicated, and/or whether or not the tests administered to measure your level of intoxication were valid, for example.
Contact The Bateman Firm for DUI Defense in Clemson, South Carolina
The experienced Clemson, South Carolina DUI defense attorneys at The Bateman Firm have represented many individuals in facing DUI charges, including women who are subjected to unfair biases and unique challenges when it comes to the influence of alcohol on the body and the BAC. We are prepared to help you to explore your options for pre-trial intervention programs and to ensure that you get a fair trial if the case ends up in court. We are here for you and ready to discuss the details of your case and how to achieve the best possible outcome, even if you are guilty of the crime that you’ve been charged with. Contact us today for a free consultation.