Nationwide, there has been an increase in the number of female motorists involved in drunk driving accidents over the past decade. The recent death of a mother with seven others in an allegedly alcohol-fueled car accident, has turned the spotlight on this disturbing phenomenon.
Last month, Diane Schuler drove the wrong way on a street in Rochester in New York, crashing head-on into another vehicle. Diane, her 2-year-old daughter and three nieces all below 8 years of age, died when the van plowed head-on into another vehicle. Three people in the other car were also killed.Toxicology reports post the tragic accident, have shown that Schuler had alcohol in her system at the time of the crash. A broken bottle of vodka was also found in her van.
According to the New York Times, her niece Emma who was in the car with her, called her father a few minutes before the crash, complaining that her aunt was having trouble seeing, and was slurring. Investigators are now looking into Schuler’s alcohol history, as well as her actions in the hours leading up to the accident. They are looking into where she purchased the alcohol, and who allowed a woman with a blood alcohol level of .19 percent to be driving a car with children. Schuler’s family has denied that she had an alcohol problem. Her husband has spoken to the press about how his wife had a medical condition that could have caused the accident.
Not surprisingly, Schuler’s husband’s pleas that his wife could have suffered a stroke or other medical condition at the wheel, have not gone down well with the families of three victims who were in the other car. They insist that Schuler was an alcoholic, and that her family, like it happens so often with families of people with a drinking problem, is simply in a state of denial.
It’s time for some introspection in the light of this tragedy.We haven’t addressed women drivers and alcohol use as strongly as we should have. Studies have shown that while the rates of arrests of male drunk drivers have dropped over the past decade, similar rates for female drivers during the same period of time have actually increased.
There is some encouraging news, however. The Transportation Department has announced that its drunk driving crackdown this year will specifically target female motorists. As Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers, we believe it’s about time.