3D comes to Edwards - Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month

  • Published
  • By Jon Fishman
  • 95th Medical Group
Edwards kicked off its National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month Campaign, Dec. 1, with a number of DUI-awareness activities. The campaign, also known as the 3D campaign, is sponsored by the Edwards' Drug Demand Reduction Program and Alcohol, Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment office.

First, you may have seen the DUI awareness wrecked vehicle, a silver Ford Ranger parked on the corner of Fitzgerald and Lancaster Boulevard, across from the service station. This vehicle was driven by a young mother in her mid-twenties who was involved in a single vehicle rollover because she does driving while intoxicated. Fortunately for her, she survived the crash, but she did sustain a number of significant injuries. Also fortunate was the fact that her child was not in the vehicle with her at the time of the crash, although there was a pack of diapers in the front seat.

The second awareness activity is the "Lights on for Life Day," which Edwards will hold on Thursday, Dec. 16. On that day, we ask that all drivers turn their headlights on during daylight hours as a reminder that DUI prevention is everyone's responsibility.

Every day, 36 people in the United States die, and approximately 700 more are injured in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. In the U.S., more than 1.4 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol each year.

Here are a few facts about alcohol and its effects:

 A standard drink is one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
 After one drink, decision-making processes start to become impaired and people begin to lose their inhibitions.
 After two drinks, reasoning and memory become affected.
 After drinking more than four or five drinks, people begin to experience greatly reduced judgment and self-control.

A good portion of the DUIs we see are the results of individuals attempting to calculate how much they can drink in a given period of time while staying just below the .08 limit so that they can drive.

This is not the right way to go about avoiding a DUI because alcohol impairs judgment with the first drink. This means that what seemed like three drinks in two hours often turns out to be five drinks in one hour and leads to a DUI, often involving injury or death.

Do not attempt to play the math game when drinking, thinking that you know your limit and can drive after drinking a few drinks. Statistics indicate that people have a 1.5% greater chance of becoming involved in an alcohol-related crash after one drink. So, if you are going to drink even one drink, don't drive.

Everyone needs to take responsibility:

1. Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver before the holiday party or celebration begins.

2. Don't even think about getting behind the wheel of your vehicle if you've been drinking. There is no true safe limit.

3. If you are impaired, call a taxi, use a designated driver or get a sober friend or family member to come and get you; or just CALL Airmen Against Drunk Driving AADD (661) 277-2233.

4. Just stay where you are and spend the night giving yourself ample time to completely sober up.

5. Remember - Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

6. If you are hosting a party this holiday season, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver. Always offer alcohol-free beverages during the event, and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver.

The Edwards community is fortunate to have an outstanding resource in the Airmen Against Drunk Driving Program. It's comprised of a volunteer force of Airmen and civilians committed to getting you home safely. Whether you are an active duty, civilian, or family member of the Edwards' community, AADD will pick you up from anywhere in the local Antelope Valley with no questions asked and no names recorded.

The National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration's "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." Campaign points out that December typically sees a spike in impaired driving. During this period, young drivers (ages 16 to 20) and adult male drivers (ages 21 to 34) are involved in high numbers of impaired driving crashes. This year, the National 3D Prevention Month Coalition will direct its messages in a variety of ways to reach young people and adult male drivers, expand its area of focus to include impaired motorcyclists and pedestrians, and show how different elements of the community, working together, can make a positive impact in the war against impaired driving.

Enhancing public awareness through partnerships and coalitions, coupled with highly visible law enforcement measures, the "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." Campaign offers the Edwards' community a framework of support for current impaired driving, zero tolerance laws and prevention programs.

We, at Edwards, invite you and all your friends and loved ones to join us this December, in shutting down drunk and drugged driving so all of the Edwards' community will return safely this holiday season. Remember, there is no safe limit. If you have even one drink, don't drive!

For more information, please call Jon Fishman, Substance Abuse Prevention, and Drug Demand Reduction Program at 275-3395.