Can Your Sex Make a Difference in DUI Cases?

Effects of Gender in DUI Consequences

Any driver who is charged and convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in any state should receive equal treatment regardless of race or gender. However, since judges are human too and every individual’s driving record is different, two people who are charged and convicted of the same crime can receive different, unequal punishments. It is also important for employers to have a written race and gender neutral policy that clearly outlines what happens should an employee be charged with DUI. If these types of policies are not in place, it could leave employers open to discrimination lawsuits.

A former principal from Syracuse, New York is suing her now ex-employer, claiming the school district practiced gender discrimination when they fired her after a drinking and driving offense. According to a local news source, the woman is claiming she was treated differently than a male employee who was arrested on similar charges. The former principal was arrested in late March 2015 and was charged with aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) because she had two children under the age of 16 in the vehicle with her.

The suspect admitted to having two glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel, and although she had not planned to leave the house, she received a call from her son who required a ride home with a friend. Law enforcement pulled the suspect over for tailgating another driver, and her Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) registered at 0.12 percent, above the state’s legal limit. The school district fired the suspect a week later, at which point the suspect filed her lawsuit.

In the suit, the former principal stated the district treated her case differently than a similar case against the school’s male athletic director. Law enforcement also charged the athletic director with DUI, and the district not only let him remain employed at the school, but he was also able to gain tenure the following school year. The school district fired back, however, by saying that the principal’s case was more serious because she had two young children in the vehicle with her.

It was this factor – not the fact that she was a woman – that moved the school district to release the principal from her position. Anyone who is facing DUI charges as a woman should always seek the legal help of a qualified DUI attorney to not only explain one’s rights but also to help build a strong defense for court.

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