These Things We Do That Others May Live

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Steve Huss
  • 56th Rescue Squadron
Spring is in the air, the weather is turning warmer, and along with longer hours of
daylight come longer hours of socializing. Sharing a bottle of wine or having drinks at a local pub are part of the social experience in England. But how long do you wait before driving home after drinking? Some of us don't know the legal limit (.08 U.K.) for blood alcohol and, more importantly, how many drinks you can have before driving. Your body type, age, physical fitness and gender affect how you process alcohol and some reach the .08 limit faster than others. The best rule of thumb is to not drink any alcohol before operating a motor vehicle. 

According to a National Public Radio article that aired June 2007, every year 1.5 million people are arrested in the U.S. for Driving Under the Influence and 50 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents are alcohol related. As I review these statistics, I don't understand why people continue to drink and drive. It is suspected that people drive drunk because they can. Drinking and driving are reflective of our society. Many Americans drink alcohol on a regular basis. Most Americans drive on a regular basis. The subsequent combination has generated our problem with DUIs. 

The 56th Rescue Squadron recently surpassed 2,000 days without a DUI. Our squadron accomplished this by following basic rules. Personal accountability for yourself and others is key in preventing DUIs. Develop a game plan for the time you consume alcohol and designate drivers. Take care of the people you're out with and don't be inconvenienced if you have to stop what you're doing to ensure someone gets home safely. Use peer pressure to prevent poor decisions that lead to a DUI. Use the Airmen Against Drunk Drivers (AADD) program (call 0800-329-0178). The Phoenix Taxi Chit Program will drive you home and allow you to pay later by taking a chit (call 01638-533060). Additionally, key squadron leaders provide a consistent message to squadron members to call if they require a ride with an emphasis of non retribution. By following these rules, you will save careers and thousands of dollars in pay and retirement. Most importantly you will safeguard our most precious resource - you. 

(Editor's note: "These Things We Do That Others May Live" is the motto of Combat Rescue.)