Charles L. Truncale
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Study finds more U.S. veterans engaging in drunk driving

Drunk driving cases involving U.S. military veterans in Florida and across the U.S. have risen since 2014 according to a new study by the American Addiction Centers. In fact, they've spiked a shocking 60 percent.

For the study, researchers examined behavioral risk factor data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involving U.S. military vets. They found that physical and emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, could be causing more veterans to engage in binge drinking and drunk driving. For women, binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks within two hours. For men, it is defined as consuming five or more drinks in the same period of time. Between 2013 and 2017, veteran rates of binge drinking increased from 14 percent to just under 16 percent. Female veterans experienced the biggest spike in binge drinking. While the overall rate increased 1.6 percent, the rate among female vets climbed by nearly 3 percent.

The study also found that drunk driving incidents involving veterans have skyrocketed nearly 60 percent since 2014. The locations with the most drunk driving incidents involving vets included California, Kentucky and Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Virginia, Alaska and Utah experienced the fewest incidents. Since 2001, almost 3 million troops have taken part in U.S. war operations. Of the vets who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, it is estimated that between 11 and 20 percent suffer from PTSD symptoms. Studies suggest that PTSD is linked to binge drinking.

Drunk driving charges can lead to serious consequences, including jail time, fines and the loss of driving privileges. However, a DUI defense attorney may be able to help a defendant avoid conviction and protect his or her future. In some cases, it may be possible to challenge the prosecution's evidence and cause the charges to be dropped. In other cases, an attorney might work to get the charges reduced.

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