Joint Base Lewis-McChord Community
JBER promotes DUI prevention awareness
Story by A1C Jonathan Valdes on 01/17/2019
Driving while under the influence should be taken very seriously and is something people should always be aware of.
When taking certain prescription medications and using alcohol, driving is something that should be avoided at all costs. An impaired decision can lead to serious consequences, changing someone’s life completely in the blink of an eye.
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson supports awareness against driving under the influence by providing specialized programs to its service members and community.
“It’s not unusual during the holiday season that we might see an increase in DUIs,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Evan Romero, 673d Security Forces Squadron operations support noncommissioned officer. “Having some downtime, individuals have opportunities to have parties and be with friends or family, and sometimes it might lead to an excess of drinking.”
Although there might be spikes in DUI occurrences around the holidays, it can happen at any point during the year, and the consequences, will change the life of the offender forever.
“Depending on the location, whether it is on or off base, apprehension or arrest by military or civilian law enforcement is just one of the consequences,” said Romero. “Also, suspension of driving privileges or complete forfeiture of driver’s license can occur. In addition, Uniform Code of Military Justice charges, such as reduction of rank and pay, and effects to an individual’s security clearance, are likely.”
Not only do these consequences impact individuals, they can also influence JBER’s mission.
“Losing the ability to drive in a job that requires it may render a service member incapable of performing their duties,” Romero said.
To avoid these incidents, Joint Base Against Drunk Driving encourages service members and the community to use its life-saving program.
“It is better to ask for a ride from JBADD than to deal with the consequences of a DUI,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jessica Pry, a 673d Medical Group unit deployment manager and JBADD secretary. “If your plan A and B fall through, don’t hesitate to call; we are here to help.”
JBADD is a joint-service volunteer program that gives service members and other Department of Defense ID cardholders a contingency plan to prevent drunk driving and DUI incidents, while providing a safe, anonymous and free ride home.
“While the service is available, don’t make JBADD your first choice for a safe ride home,” Pry said. “Utilizing the service should be a last resort.”
JBADD is located at the Warrior Zone at 655 Richardson Drive. Operations run every Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. as well as holidays and down days.
People interested in volunteering can show up during operating hours.
To request a ride from JBADD, call 907-384-RIDE (7433).
For more information on JBADD, visit www.facebook.com/JBER.JBADD or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those struggling with alcohol or substance misuse or abuse, the Air Force offers the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) program to provide prevention and assessment and treatment services for drug and alcohol-related issues. For more information, contact 580-2181.
The Army offers the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at 384-1412/1411. The program provides alcohol and drug prevention education through unit prevention leader training, military and civilian education classes, awareness events and intense remedial education.
“Driving under the influence is not worth risking your career, your life or someone else’s life,” Romero said. “It all comes down to safety and responsibility, and we aim to ensure everyone gets where they’re going safely.”