Health & Safety

May 17, 2012

Driving drunk incurs a hefty price – literally

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force illustrative photo/Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — It’s 2:15 a.m. and the bar just closed. An Airman and his wingmen stumble out to their vehicle. The designated driver tells the group he had a few beers, but he doesn’t feel drunk. They all pile into the vehicle and begin driving toward the base. As the driver messes with the radio, he misses a stop sign.

Next thing he knows there are flashing red and blue lights in his rear-view mirror and his heart drops to his stomach. The officer proceeds to the driver-side window and asks the question that will forever change this Airman’s life: “Sir, have you been drinking this evening?”

Driving under the influence can cause serious physical damage, but it can also kill a person’s bank account.

“If you get busted for a DUI here in Altus, with a .08 blood alcohol content, you are looking at 5 days to 1 year of jail time, and a minimum fine of $1,000,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Taylor, 97th Air Mobility Wing NCO in charge of civil law.

“That fee is doubled if you have a child younger than 18-years-old in the vehicle,” Taylor said. “You will have a license suspension of 30 days. You have to participate in an assessment and evaluation for treatment. The minimum DUI fee is $300 and you are looking at either a reduction in pay or a demotion.”

According to attorneyfee.com, the average fee for DUI defense ranges between $1,000 and $3,000.

“You are looking at minimum of $4,000 and that is not including court fees or attorney cost,” Taylor said.

Along with court and attorney fees, an Airman who is convicted of a DUI may also receive a reduction in rank or forfeiture of one-half of his monthly salary for a maximum of two months.

If a senior airman who has been in the Air Force for four years is convicted of a DUI and his commander decides to make him forfeit two months of his base pay, he will lose $1,133 each month, Taylor said. For individuals E-4 and below, the commander can automatically demote them to E-1. If the individual is a non-commissioned officer, they can be demoted one rank.

There are many resources here to prevent Airmen from driving under the influence.

“Have a plan before you go out,” said Joshua Leach, 97th Security Forces Squadron lead investigator. “If you want to have a good time that’s great, but have a plan. There are so many resources available in this area that prevents DUIs that it is really dumb to drive drunk.”

Resources include Airmen Against Drunk Driving, taxis, and fellow wingmen.

“If you have to think about if you are able to drive or not you shouldn’t drive,” Leach said. “If you have to convince yourself you are good to drive, then you aren’t. It’s about a $30 taxi ride from anywhere in town, which sounds a lot better than $3,000.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Memorial Day weekend safety tips

Memorial Day weekend is coming up, for most service members that means getting on the road and traveling for the first long weekend of the summer. During this holiday weekend more people will be traveling, which makes it import...
 
 

Peer-to-peer service aims to provide counseling support

WASHINGTON – Starting this summer, the Defense Department will offer an additional counseling service to help military service members, transitioning troops and family members deal with a host of issues before they become crises. Peer-to-peer support, which will be available through Military OneSource, will offer assistance from counselors who have at least a master’s degree...
 
 

Honest answers to sexual assault myths

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to address three persistent myths regarding the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. These myths include a commander’s ability to start, stop or otherwise hinder a sexual assault investigation; what agencies can...
 

 
Donor_pict

Military spouse seeks donor for kidney transplant

Looking at Tawanna Clapp you wouldn’t guess that she spends 21 hours a week on dialysis. Tawanna was diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis, FSGS, in 1996 during a routine physical for college. According to the National Kidn...
 
 

Enroll newborns in TRICARE within 60 days of birth

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Service members are reminded to enroll their newborns into TRICARE within 60 days of birth or 120 days in overseas areas. When newborns are not enrolled within the first 60 days of birth, this can cause claims processing issues and parents incur costly out-of-pocket expenses. Members who want their...
 
 

Tobacco-use AFI changes

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — Air Force Instruction 40-102, Tobacco Free Living, was recently updated to give Airmen a simplified definition of what is defined as tobacco, as well as additional regulations for smoking in privately owned vehicles. According to the AFI, tobacco includes all products that may be configured to deliver nicotine, including but not...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin