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A Way to Prevent Drinking and Driving.

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A Way to Prevent Drunk Driving
By SPC Mark A. Wicker

As a member of the military, I believe that my job, money, career plans, and family are far more important than to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel, or handlebars of a vehicle. Although I feel this way, many don’t recognize the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. We, as in 4th battalion as a whole, pound the consequences of driving drunk in each other’s heads, constantly. I truly believe that until the individual encounters the actual series of events that follow getting a DUI, the person keeps the mentality that it cannot happen to them. Although this isn’t true, it doesn’t change the fact that people have this mentality. The only way to prevent you from getting a DUI is to not put yourself in the situation. I believe the only way to prevent DUI’s within the battalion, is to ban alcohol as a whole. The main question this solution upraises is, “Is this realistic and/or possible?” I couldn’t tell you either way. In my eyes, this is the only way to prevent the problem. We all are soldiers in the United States military. We all had the will, and courage to sign up knowing that we are required to risk our lives in combat on a regular basis. The way I see it, we all have the common sense and maturity to make a smart decision. There is a few of us that prove this theory to be wrong. Maybe these select individuals see no value in their lives. Maybe these individuals see no value in all of their hard work and dedication to get to where they are today. For that select few, I truly believe there is no solution to stop them from making the decision to drink and drive. Basically in a nutshell, those individuals care no more about themselves than to put themselves as well as others in harm’s way. These people are the problem. As bad as it sounds, let them weed themselves out. By all means, I am not implying that we should not do all that we can for them, but there is definitely a limit to what an individual can do for another. If he or she chooses to make a dumb decision, and it is truly something they want or need to do, no one can stop them. Eliminating the problem by making the battalion a, “dry” battalion is a totally absurd and unrealistic solution. Desperate situations call for desperate measures. In this case, we are definitely at a standstill. We have tried making people the example. We have tried and implemented team building events that encourage us to make a plan and stick to it. We have had pep talks, one right after another. The bottom line is that none of the above measures seem to have an effect. In all honestly, I am sick of hearing about these DUI cases and sob stories. I’m positively sure that the command is sick of delivering this message time and time again. We all as a whole are sick of hearing about this dilemma. It isn’t our fault that people go out and get DUI’s. It is strictly the individual, or individuals involved in the incident. Yes we can tell a person to make a plan and stick to it. Yes, we can tell him or her to make sure they have the proper numbers and contacts in their phone. All of these procedures can be implied, but is ultimately up to the individual to put these things into affect. When you eliminate the source of the problem, you eliminate the problem. The real source is honestly people who have no regard for the rules or their life in general. Obviously, we do not have the power to identify the individuals who are the high risks. If we can, we definitely have too much pride to single these people out. So with those so called, “solutions”, eliminated due to lack of effectiveness we must eliminate the secondary source, alcohol. This is the only way to ensure by 100%, that no one receives a DUI. There should be random tests to determine if an individual has been drinking or not. Just like a drug test, if someone tests positive, they are terminated from service completely. Even with this full proof plan, you will have those who are destined to break the rules and do it anyways, but just like with any other rule in the world, it’s expected. The guarantee in this matter is our number of alcohol related incidents will drop dramatically close to none. I do not totally agree with this solution at all. It is inconvenient that the ones who don’t abuse the right to consume alcohol, and have the common sense not to make stupid decisions, have to suffer because of the few who disregard the rules. It is downright unfair, and would obviously drop morale and work ethic. It would also increase the number of personnel who dislike this unit and most likely would drop our man strength significantly. The upside to this, is that you would know that the people who stay, and choose to deal with the rule and continue to drive forward, are truly dedicated and motivated and geared toward the success and growth of this battalion no matter what. That, all on its own, is enough to cast my vote toward the development of this solution. What is more assuring than working with a group of individuals who embrace the suck, but continue to move on with a positive attitude and a great work ethic? If these people are willing to sacrifice a right to better themselves and the people around them, they would be the people that I would without a doubt, be more than willing to take to combat and trust them with my life. I am one of the many people who have loved and grown with this battalion. I have been through many changes and have seen a lot of positive development within our community. The last thing I want to see is something so dumb, and preventative, rip us apart. This solution would be a major change, and would create a lot of negativity at first. In the end, it would develop a stronger and more capable team of individuals who would appreciate the value of our community and respect the rules, which in turn, creates better productivity. I truly believe that this solution is the only solution, and should be implemented to assure that no one receives a DUI and that our battalion continues to do the great things that we do without the overshadow of alcohol related incidents. We are elite at what we do, and we must fight no matter what to remain the best.

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