ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- For decades, men have led the way when it comes to drinking and driving. It now appears women are closing the gap.
Statistics from the FBI show women made up 10% of DUI arrests in the early 1980’s. The number has grown to 25% this decade.
Some women are making the safe choice. We talked with Presidential Limousine (prezlimos.com) customers after leaving a charity event in St. Charles.
“We were tasting wine and so we just wanted to have a good time without worrying about who was going to be the designated driver,” said Butler. “What better way to do it than with a limo.”
Limo driver Alisa Palmer has plenty of female clients. She says bachelorette parties, 21st birthdays, weddings, and the wineries are all popular.
Some experts believe more and more women are turning to alcohol as a stress reliever.
“A lot of moms, we juggle a lot of stuff,” said Danyelle Little, limo customer. “We’re working. We have families. ” She said some women drink too much.
Wes Tobin is the Chief Operating Officer for Harris House, a non-profit treatment center in south St. Louis. He calls alcoholism a disease that doesn’t discriminate.
“Women suffer from alcoholism just like men,” said Tobin.
Harris House recently launched a treatment program because more and more women are seeking help. Tobin believes certain stereotypes can make it more difficult for women to seek treatment.
“We don’t view that very well in our society, even though this is a disease,” said Tobin.
He hopes women needing help will feel more comfortable coming forward, knowing alcoholism doesn’t discriminate.
“The barriers of seeking help are maybe crumbling a little bit,” said Tobin.
The Harris House provides in-patient, long term residential and transitional housing programs.
Tobin says anyone can call 314-631-4299 for more information or visit http://www.harrishousestl.org.