Veterans in North Carolina and other states are increasingly participating in risky behaviors, including some that may put other drivers at risk. This is the big takeaway from a new study by an addiction treatment center. Using risk factor info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers observed a noticeable spike in occurrences of drunk driving incidents and binge drinking among the military population. The study authors noted that increased emotional and physical trauma may be a reason for the spike in such behaviors.
Rates of binge drinking among veterans increased by about 2 percent over a four-year period, according to the study. The biggest increase in excessive alcohol consumption was seen among female veterans. Also, accidents involving binge-drinking service members accounted for about 30 deaths per day in 2016. Because of unique circumstances that may be contributing to increased drinking among veterans, however, some officials have made attempts to pass legislation that would permit military personnel to avoid conviction when faced with drunk driving charges in certain situations.
The study also noted an almost 60 percent spike in the number of veterans in the United States who admitted to instances of being intoxicated while drinking since 2014. Overall, drunk driving rates were higher among male veterans than their female counterparts. Many link the risky behavior with bouts of post-traumatic stress syndrome following military service. Rates of PTSD among service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan range from 11 to 20 percent; although, some estimates put that figure as high as 30 percent.
Because of the potential consequences associated with drunk driving charges in North Carolina, both military and non-military drivers facing such accusations may want to seek assistance from an attorney. Regardless of one’s blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, a DUI case could potentially be fought and won in court under the right circumstances. For example, a lawyer might question the reason for pulling over a vehicle or the accuracy of tests performed.