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Why alcohol consumption affects women differently than men

| Mar 17, 2017 | DUI/DWI |

Whether it is the end of a long day at work or you are planning a girls’ night out, think about the consequences of how many alcoholic beverages you drink before taking that first sip. Women process alcohol differently than men, and not in a good way. Women will have a higher blood alcohol level and physical and mental impairment than a man of the same size. This leads to women having a greater chance of receiving a DWI on the road, even if they have not consumed a lot of alcohol. Be prepared with this information next time you go out drinking to avoid unintentional drunk driving.

Why women metabolize alcohol slower

Generally, women are smaller than men and metabolize alcohol slower. This is due to women not having as much of the necessary enzyme dehydrogenase, having less water in their body to dilute the alcohol and having more body fat, which cannot absorb alcohol. Women therefore experience more organ damage as well.

These factors cause women to become drunk with fewer drinks and to remain in a drunken state for a longer time. Therefore, a man and woman who consume the same amount of alcohol at the same time will have different BACs. This makes it possible for the woman to be over the legal limit, but the man not to be. Furthermore, alcohol appears to affect women’s driving performance more than men’s.

It is important to remember that even though the legal BAC limit is 0.08 percent, in Texas you can still qualify as being intoxicated if your driving is impaired regardless of numbers. Furthermore, just having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, even if you are a passenger, can result in a fine of up to $500.

Other feminine characteristics that affect BAC

In addition, other qualities unique to being a woman can affect metabolism and BAC. These include menstrual cycles and oral contraceptives because of their effects on hormone levels. Therefore, if you receive DWI charges, you need to inform your attorney of your menstrual phase at that time and any birth control pills (or other medications containing estrogen) that you may be taking. Though not gender specific, age also plays a role in your body’s ability to handle alcohol.

Fighting a DWI charge

If you made the mistake of driving drunk and face a DWI, seek legal representation immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney can look at the special circumstances of your situation and sex to help you fight the charges.