Rarely am I able to pass through any of the base gates without being drawn to the status board which shows the latest alcohol related incidents. Often the “days counter” does not exceed 30 before another Airman is exposed for failing to follow the law. It is hard to imagine how any Airman can miss the message to not drink and drive and to be a good wingman. So why do Airmen continue to find themselves in bad situations?
Perhaps they were unaware of their limits and thought they were safe enough to drive. Others may have thought they wouldn’t get caught in the act.
The State Justice Department reported that over 1.17 million Americans were arrested in 2013 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The reasons why our Airmen falter are as numerous as there are DUI cases. However, a vast majority of our Airmen have embraced the “No DUI” message and understand the risks and consequences that accompany drunk driving.
The 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s focus is on those who are at risk to make a bad decision. We have developed a multi-pronged campaign to combat DUI by focusing on three key elements: developing and executing a plan, emphasizing the negative impacts of drinking and driving and an in-your-face awareness campaign.
First and foremost, we are spending time developing and executing a plan. Airmen put themselves in situations where they have no plan to return home safely after drinking, or they fail to follow their existing plan. To help, the squadron booster club worked with a local cab company to provide Airmen with free rides home. We issued Airmen a DUI card that has all the necessary information to get home safely, even if they have nothing but the card. When called, the cab company will provide the ride and send the booster club an invoice. Also included on the card are squadron phone numbers and Airmen Against Drunk Driving information.
Second, we invited the Tucson Police Department and representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to talk with Airmen at D-M.
The TPD officers described how the court process significantly impacts those arrested in Tucson for DUI. Arrests under these circumstances include substantial lawyer and court fees, possible installation of vehicle interlock systems, a criminal record and jail time.
A MADD representative described how a drunk driver altered her life. She stressed that a drunk driver’s poor decision led to the death of loved ones in her family.
Finally, we have initiated an aggressive in-your-face awareness campaign. With help from American Family Insurance