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Stress and culture may explain veteran drinking rates

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2018 | Dui |

Binge drinking and drunk driving is having a significant impact on veterans in Missouri and throughout the country. In 2016, the percentage of veterans who drove while under the influence of alcohol was 2.5 percent according to a study by the American Addiction Centers. That was a 60 percent increase from 2014, and male veterans were more likely to drive drunk than female veterans. California, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., were the three states where this was most likely to happen.

One of the reasons that veterans seem to be drinking more in recent years has to do with stress and the impact of PTSD. Officially, up to 20 percent of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. However, the actual number could be as high as 30 percent. In some cases, veterans drink alcohol in an effort to self-medicate even though that is likely to make the problem worse.

According to research, those who are depressed are more likely to engage in drunk driving compared to those who aren’t. Despite the negative impacts of binge drinking and drunk driving, there seems to be a culture of alcohol consumption in the military. A Department of Defense survey found that 30 percent of respondents had at least one instance of binge drinking in the month leading up to the query.

A conviction on one or more drunk driving charges may result in spending time in jail or losing a driver’s license. Therefore, it may be in a defendant’s best interest to hire an attorney to help with the matter. An attorney may be able to craft a plea deal or get a person acquitted altogether by casting doubt on the results of a blood test or a radar gun reading.