Female vs. Male DUI Oklahoma
Oklahoma law enforcement agents often use breathalyzer tests during the course driving under the influence (DUI) investigations. Using a complex equation, this test calculates the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream—a measurement referred to as blood alcohol content, or BAC.
Although BAC is based on science, the breath testing device uses a subset of data to calculate the figure—and if you do not meet the device’s definition of the standard user, your test results will be unreliable. Since the breathalyzer assumes the person taking the test is a male, women have a particular disadvantage.
How Gender Affects Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
The average man’s body is 68% water while the average woman’s body is just 55% water. Why is this important? Since the amount of water in your system will determine how quickly your body absorbs alcohol—with more water resulting in a faster absorption rate—men tend to process alcohol much faster than women.
Men also have an advantage when it comes to lung capacity. Since women have smaller lungs than men, most cannot hold as much air as their male counterparts—and once again, since the test assumes the person taking the test is a man, women often receive unreliable test results.
Certain hormonal factors can also impact the amount of time it takes for a woman to break down alcohol—and a woman’s body generally metabolizes alcohol more slowly than men because of those differences. In fact, women tend to have higher BAC readings at certain points of their menstrual cycles. Studies have even shown that using birth control pills can inflate a woman’s breathalyzer results.
Other Factors that May Impact Your Test Results
Along with gender, a number of other factors can also influence your breathalyzer results. Your body temperature, for example, can have a significant impact on your BAC reading if your temperature differs from the device’s assumed measurement (93.2°F). In fact, studies show that for every degree above this temperature, the average person’s BAC rises 6.9%. Certain medical conditions, including diabetes and acid reflux disease, can also influence your breathalyzer test results—as can some products, including gum, mouthwash, and mints.
If you were recently arrested for DUI after failing a breathalyzer, it is important to address any factors that could impact your test results in your defense.