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Veterans at greater risk of binge drinking, drunk driving

A study suggests that veterans in California and across the United States may be drunk driving and binge drinking more now than in past years. Researchers for American Addiction Centers looked at data provided by the Center for Disease Control. The data showed observations for behavior risks and looked at the number of incidents of binge drinking by veterans, drunk driving accidents involving a veteran and the number of veterans who experience emotional trauma that may lead to alcohol abuse.

The CDC defines "binge drinking" as consuming more than four alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period for women and five alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period for men. Veterans who binge drink have increased from 14 percent in 2013 to almost 17 percent in 2017. While the total of male veterans who binge drink had a 1.6 percent increase, the number jumped to 3 percent in women, suggesting that female veterans may be responding to greater emotional and physical trauma now than in past years.

One problem with binge drinking is that it increases the risk of drunk driving. Approximately 30 people die each day due to drunk driving. The number of veterans who drove while drunk increased from 1.6 percent in 2014 to 2.5 percent in 2017. According to the study, males were more likely to drive while drunk than females, and veteran drunk driving happened more often in California, Washington, D.C., and Kentucky.

People with drunk driving charges often face stiff penalties that could include prison time, fines and loss of license. These cases often rely on the evidence of drinking while driving a vehicle through a Breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test. These tests must be administered legally in order to be admissible in court. A lawyer might be able to show that his or her client's rights were violated in order to have the charges dismissed or reduced.

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