The roads in California are becoming more dangerous. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the state is seeing a surge in young women getting behind the wheel and driving drunk.
While men still dominate in the number of cases of driving under the influence, DUI crashes are up more than 100 percent in the past 10 years among women in the 21 to 24 age bracket.
AAA researcher Steve Bloch spoke at a California Office of Traffic Safety conference and pointed to Hollywood incidences as setting the tone for a new era. With the antics of celebs such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie – just to name a few – there seems to be a competition for the first DUI arrest.
Some at the conference were surprised by Bloch’s report. Many teen programs suggest that girls take the keys from boys, but these new findings suggest that a different approach is needed.
Much of this trend could be the result of changing cultures. For instance, it is more common now for women to engage in Girls’ Night Out, leaving the men – who would normally drive – at home. If the designated driver fails to abstain, the one to be in the driver’s seat when pulled over or in the event of a crash will be a woman.
The market is also changing as more drinks and bottles are designed to specifically target women. Fruity drinks that taste more like a Capri Sun instead of alcohol leave inexperienced drinkers consuming more than they realize.
Bloch highlighted that by age 30, drunken driving citations appear to level out. It is possible that either maturity kicked in or people simple learn they can’t afford another fine. After all, a drunken driving conviction in California can cost up to $10,000.