Sad, Lonely Women Drinking and Driving Almost as Much as MenS

According to a new report released Thursday, The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) reports that female DUI arrests have risen 28.8% between 1998 and 2007. In 2011, FBI statistics show that nearly 25% of drunk drivers arrested in the United States were women, whereas in 1980 that number was just 9.8%.

Who are these new women being arrested for drinking and driving? The Los Angeles Times sums up the TIRF’s findings:

Almost all said they faced a stressful event such as a breakup or death in the family before their arrest. More than three-quarters said they used at least one prescription medication for anxiety, depression and other disorders. And more than half were single, separated or divorced.

They then further categorize the offenders into three types of women:

Young women who drink to “fit in” at house parties or bars; recently married women who drink to cope with loneliness after their children are born; and divorced older women or empty-nesters who begin to drink later in life.

Young, old, married, single, anxious, depressed, social, or lonely: look for those traits plus boobs and that’s how you’ll spot a future drunk driver.

Cathy Stanley, who supervises the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists in Cook County, told the Chicago Tribune that modern times are to blame for the upswing in arrests. She believes “the multiple demands of career, mother, home manager, community volunteer and related roles became particularly acute in the recession.” As a result of these social shifts, while drunk women are nothing new, more drunk women are just "forced" to be on the road driving.

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