Today’s post is a follow-up regarding the arrest of Texas state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez for driving while intoxicated. The 34-year-old lawmaker recently apologized to her peers on the floor of the Texas house. Gonzalez stated that she made a mistake, asked for understanding, and pledged that nothing similar would ever happen again. Her peers responded with applause, eventually standing and applauding.
In a press statement, a spokesperson for the Texas House Democratic Caucus acknowledged that a DWI charge is a serious allegation, while at the same time extending prayers and concerns for Gonzalez. The statement illustrates the various concerns of the criminal justice system: deterrence, punishment, and rehabilitation.
In this case, it is not clear what circumstances led to the lawmaker’s decision to drink and drive. The context of where and with whom Gonzalez was drinking has not been disclosed. To the extent Gonzalez was measuring her drinks against a male colleague or friend, a skilled DWI defense attorney might inquire into unique gender-based defenses.
For example, women are likely aware that the potency of alcohol is affected by body weight, which is why blood alcohol concentration tables calculate BAC levels based on the number of drinks consumed and a person’s body weight. For that reason, a woman might be advised to drink one or more fewer drinks than a male friend.
However, alcohol may affect women differently for additional reasons.
Women often have slower metabolisms than men, which can result in higher BAC levels.
Elevated estrogen levels — a normal occurrence before menstruation — can also slow a woman’s ability to process alcohol, and can result in a higher BAC level.
Birth control pills containing estrogen will likely have the same effect. In sum, there are a number of mitigating factors and DWI women’s issues that an attorney can present to a jury, hopefully minimizing a defendant’s punishment and speeding them on the path to rehabilitation.
Source: Lubbock-Online, “El Paso lawmaker ‘deeply, deeply sorry’ for DWI arrest,”
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