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Study claims that drunk driving is on the rise among veterans

A recent study claims that both binge drinking and drunk driving have increased in recent years among veterans. Veterans in Pennsylvania should pay attention to the change in drinking habits and driving while intoxicated.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control, a substance addiction center reviewed records from 2013 to 2017. According to the research, binge drinking among vets increased by nearly 2 percentage points during that time. As a consequence, incidents of driving while intoxicated increased nearly a full percentage point.

Though binge drinking among female veterans is still lower than their male counterparts, women had the greatest increase in terms of percentage. Among service groups, the Marines reported the largest percentage of binge drinking, with 42 percent admitting binge drinking in the past 30 days. The study defines binge drinking as having 5 alcoholic drinks in a two hour period for males, and four drinks in two hours for females.

PTSD and depression have historically been reported as problematic after a veteran's military service is complete. Estimates of PTSD among combat veterans have been reported as high as 20 percent and depression percentages may be higher. According to the study, one-quarter of veterans suffering from depression have admitted to binge drinking as a form of self-medication.

Binge drinking is often seen as a symptom of a greater problem. When binging is combined with drunk driving, the consequences can be severe. The penalties for driving under the influence can have a substantial effect on a veteran's future. An experienced criminal defense attorney could potentially lessen the penalties and steer the accused to a quality substance abuse program to avoid a conviction.

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