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Big increase in California women involved in DUI crashes

December 17, 2008 |  6:55 am

Men are still far more likely than women to get into a drunk-driving crash. But the Daily News' Sue Doyle reports a dramatic increase in the number of California women involved in DUI accidents. Is it the effect of trendy cocktails? More:

More young California women are tossing back cosmopolitans and apple martinis, getting behind the wheel and crashing their cars, according to a recent report from the Automobile Club of Southern California.

In fact, there was a 116 percent jump from 1998 to 2007 in the number of women 21 to 24 years old involved in alcohol-related collisions that caused injuries and death.

"It's not just these few women who are doing this," said Steven A. Bloch, an Auto Club senior traffic-safety researcher who examined the issue after celebrity arrests made him wonder what was happening among young women drivers not in the spotlight. "Everyone wants to think of these as isolated incidents."

In 1998, there were 419 women California drivers ages 21-24 involved in alcohol-related crashes that led to injuries or death. Ten years later, that number had shot up to 907, Bloch said.

In 2006, men of that age recorded 3,269 such accidents, a 39% increase from 1998.

--Shelby Grad