Think before you drink: DUIs and you

  • Published
  • By Raquel Sanchez
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Congratulations you made the list, but it's not the promotion's list.

Your decision to drink and drive has earned you a spot on your commander's "shame list," and an $8,000 ride home. The consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol are serious and no Airman regardless of rank or position, are immune to them.

One DUI is one too many. In the state of Florida, the legal blood alcohol limit for a person operating any mode of transportation, whether it is a car, boat, or even a bike, is 0.08 percent.

According to Capt. Brian Adams, 1st Special Operations Wing Staff Judge Advocate chief of military justice, a service member may face the following consequences if convicted of a DUI:

- Civilian jail or Uniform Code of Military Justice action
- Reduction in rank
- Loss of pay
- Loss of base driving privileges
- Letters of reprimand
- Involuntary separation

"Civilian DUI convictions don't involve UCMJ punishments, but still can carry harsh military consequences. They may issue a letter of counseling, admonishment or reprimand, establish an unfavorable information file or place an individual on a control roster." said Adams.

The consequences of a DUI are far reaching and go against the Air Force's core values and mission. These penalties are just the start of the long list of costs that may arise from a DUI arrest and are even more severe if someone is killed or injured.

According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, on average a first offense DUI in the state of Florida can cost up to $8,000.

Drinking and driving is a choice but it's not a driver's only choice. Following a simple plan can help an impaired driver get home safely without putting the lives of others on the road at risk:

- Plan to not drink at all
- Have a designated driver
- Set money aside for a taxi
- Call a wingman, family member or friend

If your designated driver decides to drink and all other plans have fallen through, the Airmen Against Drunk Driving program can provide Airmen a safe ride home as a last resort.

AADD is a coalition of Airmen, civilians and families united to save lives by providing Air Commandos a safe, anonymous, ride home without fear of repercussion, eliminating the number of DUIs and alcohol-related injuries and deaths and educating base personnel about the ill effects of drinking and driving any time, any place.

Although the program's intentions are not to be a driver's only plan, AADD's volunteers are always ready to assist.

"It's about being a wingman, it's about helping people and it's about what you can do to help the community" said Staff Sgt. Ryan Mutuc, AADD program president. "This is your second family, you don't want to lose a family member."

A DUI conviction not only can end a career, but a life. Having a simple plan can help prevent an Airman from having to face the consequences of a DUI.

If you need a ride home, please contact AADD at 850-884-8844. For more information about becoming an AADD volunteer, contact your first sergeant or send an email to The AADD program is open to officers, enlisted and Department of Defense card holders.