Commentary

June 22, 2012

DUI, how it changed my life

Commentary by Staff Sgt. Antwoin Prater
56th Communications Squadron

On Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, a few friends and I attended an Arizona Cardinals game. Before the game started, I had a few beers at a restaurant near the stadium. After the game, we went to a nightclub for more drinks.

After leaving the night club, my friends asked me if I was good enough to drive. They did their part, but I felt fine. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence.

The consequences I’ve suffered since then should be a wake-up call for all Airmen regardless of rank. Not only did I have to see the disappointment in my commander’s face, but he and I, along with my supervisor, had to explain to the wing commander why my actions were a disgrace to the Air Force.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t any yelling or stern looks. It was worse. The wing commander showed me a picture of his family and told me how one of his sons in that picture is no longer alive because of a drunk driver. Brig. Gen. JD Harris told me he expected better of me, especially since I was an NCO.

From there, I received an Article 15 and a reduction in rank. When you get used to living with a certain income for so long, losing $600 every month is extremely painful.

I also received a referral EPR with a 3 rating and was put on a control roster. I had my driving privileges revoked on base for a year and had to update the DUI signs at each base gate by 7 every morning, including weekends and holidays. Normally, that wouldn’t be so bad because there tends to be a few DUIs on Luke Air Force Base, but the streak for no DUIs lasted 80 days before someone took my place.

In addition to those severe consequences, I became an inconvenience to my friends and coworkers. Since I wasn’t allowed to drive, they had to drive me around. My commander referred me to ADAPT, which was a hassle at work because I had to attend sessions, and my coworkers had to cover for me. It was a fast downfall. It felt like the Air Force exit door was right in front of me.

Since my DUI was handled by the base authorities instead of civilian, I was lucky in a sense. I know people who have spent some time at the infamous Tent City here in Arizona with more than $3,000 in fines. The civilian courts made them install a breathalyzer in their cars, which cost more than $1,000 a year. They also had to attend classes, which set them back another $700.

All in all, I’m very fortunate to still be in the Air Force. While every situation may be handled slightly different, the end results are the same. It can ruin your life, someone else’s life and cause a tremendous amount of suffering financially and emotionally. I will never drink and drive again. I will not scoff at Air Force policy, and I hope anyone who reads this will do the same.

These staged photos simulate a DUI arrest.




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


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

MMA ramps up combat training

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Team Ill Brasil brings a new style of martial arts to the base. The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center now offers discipline specific martial arts training Monday through Friday at the Combat T...
 
 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen expenses throughout the course of...
 
 

Is being good, good enough?

In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more...
 

 

Your career – as easy as 1, 2, 3

Oftentimes at retirements we hear the phrase, “This is one chapter in my life.” No matter what our goal is, whether it is to serve for four years or 20 years, each of us will leave the Air Force at some point. This leads to the question, “What does it take to have an Air...
 
 
Tech. Sgt.
LOUIS VEGA, Jr.

Reserve recruiter has heart of bull

Tech. Sgt.LOUIS VEGA, Jr. Master Sgt. Stanley Iakopo, Air Force Reserve Command recruiter with the 944th Fighter Wing, puts Joe Vigil, pro fighter and assistant trainer, in a hold while training at Peraza Boxing and Mixed Marti...
 
 

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise Aug. 15. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting...
 




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