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Drive sober, arrive alive

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- There's about a month left in the 101 Critical Days of Summer and we want to talk about one item in particular, drinking and driving.

Unfortunately, we've had a number of DUIs across Team Patrick over the last several months. In general, the situations haven't involved our "traditional" demographic of younger Airmen or employees. Instead, they've involved a wide spectrum to include an Airman, Senior Airman, two Staff Sergeants, a Master Sergeant, two senior level civilians, as well as a Lieutenant Colonel.

There is another set of numbers we often use as a guideline to keep these incidents from occurring. It's "0-0-1-3" which stands for zero underage drinking/zero DUIs/one drink an hour/three drinks a night. Of course the best advice is not to drive after drinking alcohol. It's not worth your life, the lives of others, your career and your record - both military and legal.

Anyone who drives under the influence of alcohol (blood or breath-alcohol level over .08) in Florida may face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first conviction in accordance with the law. For blood or breath-alcohol content higher than .15, stiffer penalties apply. Violators can also expect to pay cost of vehicle impoundment as well as education, evaluation and treatment that the court may require.

That's only on the civilian side. In addition to the fines and penalties imposed by the state, an Airman with an off-base DUI is also subject to Air Force administrative action, which may include an Article 15, LOC/LOA/LOR, an Unfavorable Information File entry, demotion, loss of security clearance, driving privileges, security clearance, control roster action, and/or discharge.

Put simply, it's not worth it to drink and drive.

There is always a smart alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol. It's called Airman Against Drunk Driving. The program's drivers will take you home on Friday and Saturday nights and holiday weekends, if you can't or shouldn't drive yourself.

AADD is available to all Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, DoD Civilians, Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS contractors, veterans, retirees, and spouses of the same, and is completely anonymous. Anyone eligible is welcome to use the program or volunteer as a dispatcher and/or driver. AADD is especially looking for female drivers.

Call 321-494-RIDE (7433) for a ride. To volunteer, e-mail aadd@patrick.af.mil .

Drive sober, stay alert and keep your Wingmen and community safe ... and thanks for all you do.