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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
DUI: Don't yoU do It

By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman | | April 2, 2003

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Rock music blared from the sound system while photographs of car accidents and victims flashed on the main screen of the Base Theater March 26. The idle chatter of waiting Marines quickly turned to awed silence as Marines watched as one horrific scene after another drove the "Don't-drink-and-drive" warning home. Several Marines gasped at the effects alcohol can have on both people and property."Good afternoon, Marines," said Staff Sgt. Rene Uribe as the lights went up. Uribe went on to explain that he was the new battalion substance abuse counseling officer and that it is his job to ensure Marines continually aware of the effects of alcohol abuse.The job of ensuring Marines here don't become one of those statistics falls chiefly on the SACO's shoulders, but Uribe encouraged Marines to take care of each other. Uribe recently held a period of military education to warn Marines of the dangers of alcohol abuse and what can happen when an individual decides to drive after throwing back a few drinks. Lt. Angel Bradford, Albany Police Department training coordinator, has worked with the effects of alcohol here for 13 years. Bradford shared some of that experience during Uribe's PME.According to Bradford, when she was working as a patrolwoman, she arrested an average of 15 drivers a month for drinking and driving - and she only worked two nights per week.Bradford's first drunk-driving accident victim experience involved a man who hadn't even left the driveway. Instead of putting his car into drive and pulling straight out of the driveway, he had put it into reverse and smashed a little girl up against the garage door. Bradford vividly recalled the scene."The father had his arm around the mother and said everything was going to be okay," said Bradford. "The military policeman on the scene looked at me and shook his head, and I knew things would never be okay for them again."Bradford tried to put a few names and faces with the statistics by telling several stories of Albany and area residents who were involved in or affected by drunk drivers."So many people are devastated every day by drunk driving, and they never get over it," said Bradford."Can you imagine being the one who caused that kind of devastation?" said Bradford.Bradford went on to talk about various rules and regulations governing drunk driving, including the implied consent law, which states that if an individual drives in Georgia, then he consents to a breathalyzer test if an officer asks for one. If the driver refuses, his license will be automatically suspended for one year, regardless of the results of the test.Bradford then answered a variety of questions from the Marines in the auditorium. To conclude the PME, Marines were given the opportunity to try on drunk-goggles, glasses designed to simulate an intoxicated individual's vision. Volunteers drove golf carts through an obstacle course of cones while wearing the goggles to see some of the effects of driving under the influence. According to Uribe, the PME was just one of many upcoming events he plans to increase awareness of the effects of drunk driving and alcohol abuse. He will also hold PME for section leaders so they know the signs to look for and, therefore, be more informed about how to gauge the well being of Marines under their supervision in relation to alcohol abuse. Uribe has also been working on putting a together a video, shot by and starring Albany Marines. The SACO made it clear that Marines don't have to have to be alcoholics to contact him or ask him questions about substance abuse. For more information or to call Uribe call 639-5115.
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