Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why Do Women Get High BAC DWIs?

In my Ithaca DWI practice I represent the full gamut of people. Everyone from the college crowd of professors and students to local cooks and tourists on holiday. DWI is a very typical first offense misdemeanor for the large majority of people. Many people are amazed when the police tell them their BAC level. They wonder how their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels got to be so high.

The Differences Between Men and Women are more than Mental

Women and men are very different in number of ways. I can tell you after 25 years of marriage I'm still scratching my head most days trying to figure out what I did that was wrong? That is for another day, and perhaps another blog post but today I seek a clearer answer to the men DWI versus women DWI BAC level anomaly.

Men DWI vs. Women DWI

Women can drink the same as men but will experience a higher BAC level because:

1. Alcohol is Hydro-philic (it loves water) that is why alcohol mixes well with juice, water, and soda. It is also why alcohol goes to the brain, organs, and muscle tissues of the body. The areas highest in water concentration. Alcohol does not accumulate in fat tissue (oil).

2. Women have a higher body fat percentage is why their muscle mass is smaller (generally) than men. So what alcohol they do consume will have a smaller volume of water to mix with and therefore a higher BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level.

3. Drink for drink men average .02 BAC/drink and women .035 BAC/drink

Three Drinks for a man is still around .06 BAC (so impairment but not intoxication)


Three Drinks for a woman is around .11 BAC (intoxicated)

Remember what a standardized drink is:

12 oz. beer at 5%
5 oz. wine at 12%
1.5 oz. 80 proof at 40%
12 oz. cooler at 5%

Many beers are over 5% +, and many wines are 14% +

New York VTL 1192 (2) (A) (A) Aggravated DWI

Pound for pound women will get drunker faster, and with a higher BAC just based upon gender. 

In my DWI practice I have had many aggravated DWI (.18 or more) women clients who only had 6 drinks, while a man at that many drinks still only be a .12 or less.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

I am certified in Field Sobriety and Breath Alcohol Testing, and an active member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). My online materials include over 500 blog posts, dozens of articles, and over 500 informative videos on my youtube channel.

I have co-authored Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in New York, in both 2011 and 2013. These are West Thomson legal manuals on New York State DWI defense, and focus on the best practices for other lawyers handling a New York DWI case. I was selected by Super Lawyers as a Upstate New York 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI Defense based on my experience, contributions, and professional standing.