Do Social And Economic Factors Affect Who Gets A DUI?

Anyone, from any walk of life can, and does get a DUI-from Congressional and White House aides, to people in the CIA and the Defense Department; and from people who dig ditches and haul trash, to lawyers and doctors.  Whether rich or poor; whether black, white or brown; almost everyone has, at one time or another, put themselves in a potential DUI arrest scenario. Clearly, in tough economic times there is an increase in the pressures and tensions that cause some people to drink too much; but no groups of people are immune from getting a DUI.

Who Gets Arrested More Often-Men Or Women?

There are significantly more men who get arrested for DUI’s than women (an almost 4 to 1 ratio).  There are several reasons why. Men have a special enzyme in their stomach that women do not have, that breaks down alcohol before it reaches the brain.  This enzyme is like the “Pacman” character who, in the old video game, went around eating up little pellets.  In addition, men are simply, much larger than women, causing alcohol to have to be spread over a larger mass than women; and, men’s bodies are made up of 55%-65% water; while women’s bodies are only made up of 45%-55% water.  Therefore, men’s bodies have more water in their system to dilute the alcohol before reaching the brain than women’s bodies.  Thus, it can take much longer and much more alcohol for men to reach a drunk driving level of a BAC of 0.08% than women.

Alcohol literally goes to women’s heads faster and more powerfully than to men’s heads.  Women tend to feel the effects of alcohol much more quickly, and realize they may be getting drunk much sooner than men do.  It is relatively rare to see intoxicated women driving a car because they know they are feeling drunk sooner and will likely have asked a friend or a taxi to drive them home.  While there are other cultural and social factors involved, it is still overwhelmingly men who get caught and charged with a DUI.

How Can The Attorney Use Due Diligence To Help The Case?

We prepare ourselves ,and our clients, to be proactive-and then we work-together as a “Team”.  We obtain the records for the Breath Test machine that the client blew in to at the police station, going back two months.  By doing this, we are able to look at every person who blew on that machine during the two months prior to our client. We look for each time the machine was “down” for service, cleaning, repairs and maintenance- and we look for anomalies, prior deficient breath samples, ambient air, etc., that might undercut the Breath Test results of 0.08% BAC or higher, of our Client.  In essence, we try to show that the Breath Test machine was unreliable when our client took the test.  Thus resulting in the BAC of 0.08%, or higher, being thrown out; and the DUI likely being dismissed as well.

We also obtain the written “Criminal Complaint” from the Clerk of the General District Court that the arresting Police Officer wrote, after our Client’s DUI arrest in Northern Virginia, which is an important summary of the reason for the Traffic DUI stop; an outline of the Field Sobriety Tests given to the client; the PBT Test result; and the BAC Percentage from the police station.  We look at every one of these pieces of information as part of the “Jigsaw Puzzle” of our due diligence.  We determine if there was “reasonable suspicion” for the police stopping our client; why the client was asked to get out of their vehicle; how many beers or drinks they said they had; how they did on their roadside FST’S and Preliminary Breath Test.

In addition, we have a significant number of immigrants from all over the world in the Northern Virginia area, (many of them are Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Central American) so English is not their first language.  Therefore, they often do not understand, and thus can’t follow the Police Officer’s directions and commands correctly; nor do they always understand the details of doing the Field Sobriety Tests and what they have to do. So, as part of our due diligence in trying to undercut the Prosecutor’s case, we try to show that an immigrant client could not possibly understand or comply with what the police officer wanted them to do -not that they were “drunk” if it appears that they did not do well on the tests, etc. – but, more likely, that they simply could not understand or respond to the officer’s commands due to language and cultural reasons.

For more information on Socio-Economic Factors Related to DUI, a free initial consultation with DUI lawyer is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 548-1462 today.

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