Female DUIs Surge in Calif.

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2009 6:56 PM CDT
In this image made from video, actress Lindsay Lohan drinks champagne on New Years Eve in Capri, Italy, Monday, Dec. 31, 2007.   (AP Photo/AP Television News)
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(Newser) – Men aren't the only ones drinking and driving in California these days, the Sacramento Bee reports. Female DUI arrests and alcohol-related crashes are on the rise, leaving a trail of fatal car wrecks, prison sentences, and women undergoing treatment programs. "Males are still the major knuckleheads, but females for some reason seem to be trying to catch them," says a state traffic official.

Analysts are debating why the young female share of state DUI arrests spiked from 16.8% to 24.3% between 1998 and 2007—the greatest boost for any group. Some point to stricter law enforcement. Others blame the rise of female binge drinking, fruit-flavored booze drinks for women, and the influence of DUI starlets like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. "Now it's cool to get a DUI," says a CHP spokesman, "and that's scary."