WASHINGTON, DC—Over the last decade, female drunk driver arrests have increased 36% (FBI, Crime in US 2010). Impaired driving has long been perceived to be a predominantly male-based problem. In an effort to learn more about the magnitude of the female drunk driver problem, The Century Council commissioned a report, State of Knowledge: Female Drunk Drivers, and released it at its annual holiday education event on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Stop DUI Caucus in attendance. The report was compiled by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).
The State of Knowledge: Female Drunk Drivers report notes that since the late 1980’s, female involvement in DWI events has become a growing concern. The literature and research review examined the overall problem, characteristics of the offenders, involvement in drunk driving incidents, and availability of effective strategies.
“Gathering available data is crucial to establishing a framework for future solutions to this growing problem,” said lead researcher, Robyn Robertson of TIRF.
“Along with the Congressional Stop DUI Caucus, we want to keep those numbers on the decline. We trust the newly released report on female drunk drivers will encourage traffic safety professionals to take an effective approach when addressing female drunk drivers,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council.
The event on Capitol Hill today included a panel discussion on the issue. Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today Consumer Reporter and “Confident Consumer” Columnist, moderated the event and panel members included:
- Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation
- Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, blogger and best-selling author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime is the New Happy Hour
- Assistant Chief Patrick Burke, DC Metropolitan Police Department
- Kurt Erickson, Washington Regional Alcohol Program
Attendees at the event listened to panel members discuss the increase in drunk driving arrests of females from their individual perspectives and areas of expertise. At the end of the panel, the format was opened up to include a Q&A from attendees. Materials were also available on the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s (WRAP) SoberRide initiative in the DC metro area for the Holiday Season.
About the Century Council
The Century Council is a not-for-profit organization funded by distillers including Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam, Inc., Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Through legislation, education, and public awareness campaigns, The Century Council promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol, focusing on drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information on The Century Council please visit: www.centurycouncil.org.
The Century Council was the first to turn research into action on the hardcore drunk driver more than 10 years ago. The Century Council’s concern about the particular impact of alcohol consumption and women dates back to the B4UDrink BAC Educator which provides a clear indication that the same amount of alcohol affects women differently than men. Also, with the Society for Women’s Health Research as a partner, The Century Council addressed the health implications of alcohol consumption for young women in the Girl Talk program over 5 years ago.