While men still make up the lions share of drunk driving offenses, women are increasingly likely to drink and drive. According to an AA study the number of men who failed a breathalyser test fell by 17.6% from 2,992 to 2,466 from 2010 to 2013. Women’s numbers also fell over that time but only by 5.9% from 853 to 803.
More telling are the numbers from a Social Research Associates (SRA) study which found that the numbers of women convicted of being over the limit has nearly doubled in 15 years.
This increase may be because, for years, men have been the target of drink driving campaigns. This used to make perfect sense because men did, and to a large part still do, make up the majority of drunk driving offences. But the numbers look to be changing. The SRA found that women were more likely to be over the limit than men from age 30 onwards. Furthermore, women over 40 who were tested for alcohol after an accident were more likely to have very high blood alcohol contents.
This has spurred a Spokesperson for the government’s THINK! Campaign announce that, “We constantly monitor drink-drive statistics such as casualties, convictions and police breath test data to inform our campaign. Young men aged 17 to 29 continue to be our core target audience – men account for two-thirds of all drink-drive casualties, and three-quarters of those killed or seriously injured. This year we are targeting women to challenge those who drink and drive and to ensure that drink-driving continues to be a socially unacceptable behaviour.”
While the government works to better inform women about the dangers of drinking and driving, some authorities are working to shame people out of drunk driving. The Dorset Police along with several other forces around the country have said they will publish the names and mug shots of those caught driving under the influence in local papers.