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Think smart, prevent DUIs

Maj. Gen. Charles R. Davis

Maj. Gen. Charles R. Davis

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Within the past few weeks, five Team Eglin active duty members received Preventable DUIs. I say PREVENTABLE because no DUI ever has to happen. Luckily, none of these incidents resulted in serious injuries or loss of life.

There are two things I immediately ask when I hear of a DUI: What was the plan and where was the Wingman? In everything we do, there is a chain of events that can either lead to success or failure. Creating a plan, which involves a designated driver, is the first step in making sure we are poised for success.

If that designated driver has trouble upholding the promise of staying sober, we have a backup plan readily available at Eglin in the form of Airmen Against Drunk Driving (AADD). This year alone, AADD has accounted for 85 saves. Those 85 folks could have made the wrong decision but didn't; instead, they called 882-SAFE and safely made it home.

With summer upon us, folks are knocking the dust off of their boats and making their way out to Crab Island and other hot spots along the Gulf Coast. Let me remind you that DUIs apply to all watercraft as well as automobiles--the same need for a designated driver exists when you're out on the water; maybe even more so with the added hazards that water presents.

Right now, I consider us lucky--people have been caught before they harmed anyone. At some point, that luck runs out and affects our community, our AF family and our mission effectiveness. Let's nip the DUI issue in the bud, take responsibility for each other and act smartly.

There is always an option to drinking and driving. Whether Active Duty, Civilian or Contractor, each of you are an important member of Team Eglin. So have a plan, call your Wingman, call Airmen Against Drunk Driving (882-7233), call your first shirt, call a cab.

A DUI will ruin your career and hurt your family--and I'm not even talking about the expense and inconvenience if convicted. Just don't let it happen--please.