A new study conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation found that drunk driving arrests for women have increased thirty-six percent in the last ten years. But what’s really interesting is the demographic: compared with males, female drunk drivers are older, better educated, lower paid, and likely to be primary caregivers to children.
What’s to be made of the data? Has mothering gotten more stressful as women who work outside the home are still expected to take on the lion’s share of housekeeping and child-raising responsibilities? Has the taboo on drinking during the day lifted somewhat? Are these women unfulfilled by occupations they are overqualified for? Or is i that police officers are less likely than they were ten years ago to let an impaired driver off on a warning, and women are bearing the statistical brunt of that shift?
But even if the increase in arrests has more to do with the officers than the drivers, the demographic differences between men and women who drive drunk imply that they do so for different reasons. But moving beyond mere speculation as to exactly what those reasons are requires further research.