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Holiday Crackdown On Drinkers, Especially Women

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:23 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Protecting Your Family, DUI, NHTSA, Driving Impaired, Drunk Driving, Auto Accidents, Schuler

Impaired Driving National Enforcement Crackdown Aug 21 - Sep 7, 2009

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IMAGE SOURCE: © 2009 Impaired Driving
National Enforcement Crackdown

Women are involved in about 2,000 alcohol-related deaths each year.

The statistics were released in connection with the National Labor Day Enforcement Crackdown, which targets drivers leading up to the Labor Day holiday weekend. The campaign runs from August 21 through Labor Day weekend and involves 11,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies around the country.

Television shows have made it looks hip and cool to say home and drink,” says Laura Dean-Moody, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

It is neither hip nor cool, when women who have been drinking are involved in fatal accidents, says Dean-Moody.

The Transportation Department reports, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol surged 28.8 percent between 1997 and 2007. While during the same period, the number of men arrested under the influence declined 7.5 percent.

"If you're over the limit, you're under arrest. It’s a matter of life and death," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Far too many people still don’t understand that alcohol, drugs and driving don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime.

Transportation officials said the number of impaired women involved in a fatal crash increased in 10 states from 2007 to 2008. The states are: Ohio, New Hampshire, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, West Virginia, Indiana, Washington State, Kansas and Tennessee.

Sadly, the number of arrests of women driving under the influences is on the rise,” LaHood said. “Clearly, this is a disturbing trend.”

But, despite the new trend, male arrests for DUI still outpace female. In 1998, 676,911 men were arrested for being under the influence, compared to 626,371 arrests in 2007. In 1998, more than 126,000 women were arrested for DUI, which increased in 2007 to 162,493.

Women have a tendency to drink alone and at home and are less likely to seek help, according to Dr. Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York, speaking to Associated Press.

"Our society has taught us that women have an extra burden to be the perfect mothers, wives, daughters… perfect everything," Levounis said. "They tend to go to great lengths to keep everything intact from an external viewpoint while internally, they are in ruins."

The current recession may be increasing the pressures on working moms.

IB News, reported earlier this month about Diane Schuler, whose secrets led to the death of seven people and herself in a head-on collision on a New York State Parkway.

Authorities say Schuler, a 36-year-old suburban housewife from Long Island, had a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit at 0.19, the equivalent of about 10 drinks and had ingested marijuana shortly before the July 26 accident. The medical examination found tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in marijuana, and six grams of undigested alcohol in her stomach, reports Newsday.

Police also report they found a broken bottle of Absolut vodka in the Ford Windstar van she was driving.

Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. #


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