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New study might change some Fremont resident's perceptions of drunk drivers

All of us here in Fremont know that drunk driving is wrong. So why do people do it?

To be sure, many people who are convicted of drunk driving have made a simple and easy mistake, like having one more cocktail than they should have or mistakenly thinking they were okay to drive the short distance home.

But a recent study suggests that a large portion of people who get into trouble for driving when they are under the influence of alcohol are dealing with a problem for which they are not getting adequate help and so are being prompted into risky behavior.

In this study, professionals at the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, interviewed 700 people who had drunk-driving convictions. They found that about half of the research subjects demonstrated risky alcohol behavior, such as frequent, heavy drinking. What's more, about 30 percent of the people they talked to met clinical guidelines for a mental health issue, like depression of post-traumatic stress disorder.

It seems, then, that for many people, a drunk-driving conviction is an indication that there is some underlying problem that needs attention. Indeed, the study's lead author called a drunk-driving conviction a "red flag" that should indicate that the person may need help.

In any event, we hope that you have found this post thought-provoking and interesting. Our aim for this blog is to use it to bring you news and information on the field of law regarding drunk driving that anyone in Alameda County would find relevant and pertinent.

Source: Reuters, "Drunk drivers show risky lifetime drinking habits - study," June 21, 2012

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