A woman veteran in Arizona had been through treatment for PTSD, MST (Military Sexual Trauma) and SUD (Substance Use Disorder). Although she was clean and sober, she’d had two DUI’s before she went into treatment. As a result of that, she still had a breathalyzer, or ignition interlock, on her car.
During an incident of domestic violence, she called the police for help. The men who answered the call found her sitting in her car with the engine off. High school friends of her husband, they arrested her for driving under the influence, even though she had not started the car.
She called the Lifeline for Vets and was referred to Mary Ann Mayer, Woman Veteran Outreach Director. Mary Ann had a contact in Phoenix. Three phone calls and three different referrals later, she finally reached a Marine Reservist lawyer who agreed to take the case pro bono. A lot was at stake. The vet, a mother of two, was just starting a new job. She would have lost the job if the case had gone to court.
Mayer said experiencing domestic violence is not uncommon for MST survivors. The domestic violence she suffered was a factor making it harder for this vet to stay sober. Her lawyer settled the case out of court. Now she has a job and is able to care for herself and her children.