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ADAPT, SFG have resources to prevent DUIs

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- A DUI is simply defined under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as operating a motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel while impaired by substances such as alcohol or drugs, or being under the influence and sitting in a car, whether the car is on or off, with control of the keys to that vehicle.

At Minot Air Force Base, there are organizations and programs set to help minimize the number of registered DUIs.

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program promotes readiness, health and wellness through the prevention and treatment of substance misuse and abuse to minimize the negative consequences of substance misuse and abuse to the individual, family and organization. They also provide comprehensive education and treatment to individuals who experience problems attributed to substance misuse or abuse, as well as restore function and return identified substance abusers to unrestricted duty status or assist them in their transition to civilian life, as appropriate, according to Air Force Instruction 44-121, ADAPT program.

To deter DUIs at Minot AFB, the ADAPT program has recently acquired a tool called the Intoxiclock.

“The Intoxiclock calculates a person’s BAC [blood alcohol content] using weight, type of drink, number of drinks, time it takes to consume each drink, and the length of time drinking,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Wyrick, Interim ADAPT NCO in charge. “After all of the aforementioned factors are considered, the Intoxiclock provides the individual’s peak BAC, the time at which it is highest, and the number of hours needed and the time at which the BAC is back to zero, or until the individual is sober.”

The Intoxiclock has been used at commander’s calls for both the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing, on display at the Base Exchange and shoppette, and available upon request for education.

Education and brief-counseling is offered by ADAPT to members who are deemed to be at risk for alcohol or substance misuse. Educational events are planned in the community, such as information booths, during April and December for Alcohol Awareness Month and DUI Prevention Month respectively.

“We invite motivational speakers to advocate responsible drinking and speak out against drinking and driving,” said Wyrick. “We brief alcohol education and responsible drinking to all Airmen going through First Term Airman’s Course and during the newcomer’s briefing.”

Responsible drinking is described by ADAPT in the following five steps:
1) If you are planning to drink, set limits and stick to those limits.
2) Make the responsible choice; your life and someone else’s life depends on it.
3) Take a break; give your body at least 48 hours after a night of heavy drinking to recover.
4) Listen to those close to you who have a concern about your drinking habits.
5) Seek help from a doctor or specialized agency if you are worried about your own drinking behaviors.

Responsible drinking plays a huge role in the safety of Minot AFB and the surrounding community.

“A DUI often involves injury or death, which has far reaching implications on the community, victim and offender,” said Staff Sgt. Jerome Long, an investigator assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron. “The split-second decision to drive while intoxicated can affect thousands of people.”

Along with ADAPT, the 5th SFS has procedures in place to deter, detect and end drunken driving.

The 5th SFS enforces the Air Force policy on DUIs by providing Minot AFB with numerous law enforcement patrollers who actively monitor the base for any signs of a DUI, said Long.

“We utilize random DUI traffic control points annually to deter persons on Minot AFB from drinking and driving,” he said. “We hold DUI offenders responsible for their crime.”

Along with the 5th SFS and ADAPT, Minot AFB has implemented Airman Against Drunk Driving, a program allowing volunteers to be designated drivers for base personnel from downtown bars to their residences.

Before every major holiday, down days and long breaks, personnel on base are reminded of the consequences that come along with drunken driving. There are crashed vehicles placed at installation entry points to demonstrate an outcome.

The 5th SFS educates its members with government and state sponsored DUI courses and routinely patrol the installation signs of possible DUIs.

“It is important because DUIs have a profound and adverse impact on the base and community,” Long said. “All efforts must be made to prevent DUIs from happening.”
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