DUIs and Personal Responsibility

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton
  • Commander, 45th Space Wing
     First, let me congratulate the 45th Medical Group for nailing its Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care inspection and for receiving the USAF Outstanding Patient Centered Medical Home Award.
     Congratulations are also in order for Maj. Laura DeJong, former commander of Air Force
Office of Special Investigations here at Patrick AFB, who was named the senior officer recipient of the 2011 Lance P. Sijan Air Force Leadership Award.
     Also, please join us today at 3 p.m. at the Marina for the Colonel Selectee party honoring Lt. Col. Hillis, Lt. Col.Baugh, Lt Col. Youngson, Lt. Col. Quillen and Lt. Col. Woolley.
     Now, I want to talk about something that requires each of you to be leaders, whether by yourself or with a group of Airmen or friends: the decision whether to drive after consuming alcohol.
     Do not drive drunk and do not let your Wingman drive drunk. PERIOD!
     It takes approximately six hours after drinking for your body to completely eliminate alcohol from its system with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08, the legal limit.
     If you are going to drink, be smart and have a plan. It's too late to think clearly after you've been drinking. Call Airmen Against Drunk Driving, 321-494-7433 (RIDE), or your First Sergeants for a sober ride. Or, call a friend, take a taxi - just don't get behind the wheel.
     There are consequences for bad decisions. A DUI is a life-altering experience. It's not worth ruining the lives of others, your life, your career and your legal record. In all 50 U.S. states, a driver is considered legally drunk with a BAC above .08. Those convicted of DUI in Florida may face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. With a blood or breath alcohol content higher than .15, stiffer penalties apply. 
     And that's not to mention the harsh administrative actions that will occur from the Air Force: a Letter of Counseling, Admonition, or Reprimand, an Unfavorable Information file, demotion, loss of security clearance, control roster action, and/or discharge. 
     With that said, make sure you have a plan for the Super Bowl. Typically there is an increase in DUIs over Super Bowl weekend and we don't want to see any members from
the 45th Space Wing involved in one.
     Your base leadership will be out at the gates in full force this Friday afternoon to remind you, so be smart before drinking and always have a plan.
     Have a fun and safe Super Bowl Weekend!