A rabbit hole to jail
Drinking was front-page news in Sunday’s Kansas City Star after Eric Adler spent a night at a sobriety checkpoint at 4040 Main. He described a parade of 17 Halloween partiers, including a sexy pirate, a fishnet-stockinged police officer and the Queen of Hearts, arrested for driving drunk. The character who struck me most, however, was the 6-foot-5, hairy French maid. He was sober, but the Alice in Wonderland driving their car was hauled away with a DUI.
I obviously don’t know the couple. But I can imagine their conversation as they left the bar, comparing who drank what before deciding who got behind the wheel. I’m guessing that Alice only had a couple, while the French maid drank more, so Alice drove. The problem is, women really do get drunker than men.
It’s got nothing to do with holding your alcohol and everything to do with physiology. A woman’s stomach has less alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, so more alcohol from each drink enters her bloodstream. And woman’s body contains less water than a man’s (thanks to typically smaller size and higher fat-to-muscle ratio), so there’s less water to dilute the booze once it gets in her blood. The result? As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism puts it, “women become more impaired than men do after drinking the same amount of alcohol.”
Alice and her French maid should have either designated a driver or cabbed it. According to Adler’s article, drunk drivers kill 13,000 people nationwide each year. As it was, Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole to jail while her dude hoofed it 50 blocks home at 4 a.m. I’m sure they didn’t feel as lucky as they were.