A nationwide crackdown on drunken driving that starts tomorrow features sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It also will focus on women, who represent a growing percentage of drunken drivers. Said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: “Impaired driving is an issue that cuts across all segments of society and, sadly, the number of arrests of women driving under the influence is on the rise. This is clearly a very disturbing trend.”
FBI data show that arrests of women driving under the influence increased by nearly 30 percent from 1998 to 2007. Over the same period, DUI arrests of men decreased by 7.5 percent, although men were arrested four times as often as women. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the number of impaired women drivers involved in fatal crashes increased in 10 states last year, despite an overall decline of 9 percent in drunken driver crashes. “Women are driving more like men and, unfortunately, have picked up some of their dangerous habits,” said Barbara Harsha of the Governors Highway Safety Association.