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Women’s Issues in DUI

A woman arrested for a DUI in Ohio will, unfortunately, face a different set of issues than a man will. Women are usually smaller in size, and have a smaller lung capacity than men. This is especially problematic during the Ohio breath test. The breathalyzer machines require a certain amount of air in order to arrive at their reading. If a woman is unable to exhale the proper amount of air into the machine, the machine will show that a sufficient sample was not provided. In some cases, an officer will use this as an excuse to record that you refused to provide a breath sample.

Various studies have shown that men and women process alcohol differently. When a man and woman who are equal in size and body weight consume the same amount of alcohol, they will have vastly different BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels, the woman’s being higher than the man’s. Here is just a small sampling of the types of discrepancies that can be sign when dealing with DUI charges with men and women:

1. Water Content – The average male body is composed of 68% water, while the average female body contains just 55% water. Alcohol mixes with water and is then distributed throughout the body, meaning that men are able to process—and eliminate—alcohol more quickly.
2. Metabolism – As most dieting females can tell you, men typically have faster metabolisms than females. The ADH enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol before it enters the body can fluctuate with the changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle. When the levels of the ADH enzyme have dropped, more alcohol enters the bloodstream, and her BAC is higher than a man who has consumed the same amount.
3. Body Temperature – When an individual blows into a breathalyzer, the machine assume many things about that person, including the temperature of the exhaled breath. The machine assumes that your breath temperature is 34 degrees Celsius, but women’s body temperatures rise during their premenstrual cycle. If this temperature is higher by even 1 degree, the machine will give a BAC reading as much as 6.9% higher.
4. Birth Control Pills – There is significant evidence that this popular medication can raise body temperature, thereby creating a falsely high BAC reading than men and women who aren’t taking the pill. The pills work by tricking your body into thinking you are pregnant, which can raise your body temperature.

Despite the inherent differences in the male and female bodies, the breathalyzer machine cannot distinguish between a sample provided by a male and that provided by a female. As we have explained, a woman’s unique make-up can create an unfair bias when submitting to a test in anOhio DUI investigation. If you have been charged with an Ohio DUI, contact attorney Peter Binning today.

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