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Family 411: Drunk Driving Moms

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- The number of drunk driving arrests involving women is climbing.
Female DUI cases in the US have doubled in the last 30 years.  Concerned parents call 911 when a mother shows up drunk at school to pick up her daughter.

The 911 caller says, "And her daughter is going to be coming out pretty soon and we don't want her driving her daughter home.  She thinks she ordered some food and tried to pay with a VIP pass to the Harem Strip Club."

Another mother was arrested at a fast food drive-thru with her two kids in the car.  This recent report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation shows they're part of a dramatic increase in the number of women arrested for drunk driving.  Just in the last decade it has gone up nearly 30 percent.

Nancy Dean, a recovering alcoholic, said, "It was a lot of pressure to take care of the family.  I was working full-time, had two small children."

Nancy & Karen Dean are mother and daughter, both recovering alcoholics.

Karen said, "Thank God I didn't kill anyone or hurt myself really bad."

Karen's wake-up call?  A rollover accident, which she didn't remember when she woke up.  Nancy's came when she lost her job.

All of the women arrested for drunk driving and interviewed by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation had something in common, a stressful event like a breakup, a death in the family, or becoming empty nesters.

Probation Officer Sue Davis teaches driver intervention classes, "I've had parents who are embarrassed because they have teenage children and don't want them to know."

She, too, is a recovering alcoholic.

Sue tells Local 12's Sheila Gray, "I see the havoc that it causes.  It ripples through the whole family."

More than half of the women in the study were single, separated, or divorced.  Nancy and Karen got help.  They credit their recovery to a 12-step program which they take to women behind bars.

Karen said, "I see the women in jails and prisons, and I'm grateful that I'm here today and can say, I know how you feel. I know what you're going through."

Sue said, "Because of the support, and you realize you're not so unique that other people share the experience and strength and hope."
Davis says recovery rates are much higher when treatment is paired with a 12-step program.  The Traffic Injury Research Foundation reported women are happier in female only programs including alcoholics anonymous.  The women in those groups were more likely to predict lasting outcomes.

There are signs that you or a person you love has a problem with alcohol.  If it's causing financial issues like trouble paying bills, if it's affecting work or your family and certainly if you find yourself in the law enforcement arena then it's time to get some help.

Follow Sheila Gray on Twitter @SheilaGrayTV and LIKE her on Facebook

VIDEO HEREFamily 411: Drunk Driving Moms

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