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Psychological Trauma and Mental Health Injuries Associated with Being a DUI Victim

The personal injuries associated with vehicular crashes caused by a driver who’s operating a car or truck while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both are many. The injuries can often lead to being disabled for the rest of your life or even death. Thus, the laws associated with DUI or driving while under the influence are strict and seem to be getting stricter every year. 
Says New Hampshire  based personal injury lawyers, Cohen & Winters, , driving while under the influence, which is usually referred to as DUI or DWI, is a very serious criminal offense. A driver can be charged with a DUI under one of two circumstances: first if the vehicle’s operator is driving on a public road under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or drug, an over-the-counter drug, or even a prescription drug or any other substance that would inhibit safe driving.
 The second way a driver can be charged with a DUI is if his or her blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or greater. If the driver is under 21, the legal alcohol level is 0.02 percent.  
There, you have the legalities behind being charged with a DUI. But what about the emotional impact a vehicular crash directly related to a DUI can have on an innocent victim? What are the specific psychological traumas and mental health injuries that might be associated with being a DUI victim? 
According to a recent report by Helping Miami, car crashes due to DUI are an all too common occurrence in the U.S. Every single day, people make the bad decision to get behind the wheel of their vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs, and the decision can lead to horrific consequences. Accidents that are a direct result of DUI can not only be severe but often result in fatalities. 
The fact of the matter is that DUI accidents are responsible for a major percentage of traffic deaths annually. An estimated 1.1 million people are said to be arrested for DUI in the U.S. alone. This number does not include the drivers who are suspected of DUI, get pulled over by law enforcement, and are let off with only a warning. 
The bottom line is this: If you make the decision to imbibe in alcohol at a bar or restaurant, make certain you have appointed a designated driver to take you home. Or you can call a cab or UBER it. Never risk your own life or the lives of others by driving while under the influence. The results can be catastrophic, to say the least. 
That said, here are just a few of the psychological and mental health injuries that are all too often associated with being a victim of DUI. 
Trauma Due to DUI
Perhaps the most common psychological effect of being involved in a DUI crash or accident is trauma. It can show itself in lots of different ways. While some people might suffer from flashbacks of the accident, others might be plagued by intrusive memories and thoughts. Still, others can find themselves feeling numb or even detached from their physical body. 
It’s also said to be common for accident victims to undergo acute depression, anxiety, and even PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of a bad DUI accident.   
Guilt Due to DUI
Lots of people who were victims of DUI accidents tend to experience guilt, even if the crash wasn’t their fault. It’s all too common for a crash survivor to blame him or herself for the vehicular crash even when there was nothing that could be humanly done to prevent it. 
Perhaps you feel like you might have done something differently to have aided in avoiding the crash. In a word, guilt can be terribly hard to deal with. That’s why it’s important to be aware that you are not responsible for another driver’s bad decision to drink alcohol or take drugs prior to driving. 
Anger Due To DUI
Says Helping Miami, it’s also quite common for a victim to feel profound anger after surviving a DUI collision. You will be angry not only at the drunk driver who hit you but also at the flawed U.S. justice system. You might even find that you’re angry at yourself. 
The anger is said to be understandable and perfectly normal. It’s best to find a reputable therapist you can trust who will help you sort out your feelings about the DUI accident in a way that heals your mental and emotional health.   
Grief Due to DUI
If you lost a loved one in an accident tied directly to a DUI, you will find yourself dealing with grief. Grief is one of the most difficult emotions to deal with, but it can be physically debilitating, too. You can find yourself enveloped in a kind of fog and suffer from psychological paralysis since you will feel as though moving on with your life will be impossible.  
This is where professional therapy becomes of primary importance. You need to give yourself the proper amount of time to grieve over a lost loved one. But eventually, you must find a way to compartmentalize that grief and move on with your life. Easier said than done, but all too necessary. 
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Due to DUI
A little more information regarding PTSD. This is said to be one of the most serious psychological and mental health conditions that can have horrible effects not only on your life but also on your loved ones and friends. 
If you are showing signs of PTSD, such as drinking to excess, thoughts of suicide, wild mood swings, severe insomnia, weight loss, and inability to hold a job to the point where you find yourself living among the homeless, you need to check yourself into a hospital immediately for psychological treatment. It can mean the difference between life and death. 
In conclusion, what at first seems like an all too innocent act…that is, getting behind the wheel of your vehicle after having consumed just a couple of beers…can turn into utter devastation if you are involved in a collision that severely injures or kills an innocent person or persons. That innocent act will have turned out to be anything but, and the consequences can be horrific. Don’t drink or do drugs and drive. It’s that simple and that important. 

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