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News > Airmen Against Drunk Driving 'Saves' lives
Airmen Against Drunk Driving 'Saves' lives

Posted 9/21/2007   Updated 9/21/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Vesta Anderson
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


9/21/2007 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The word "saves" can represent a variety of things; to the Airmen Against Drunk Driving program, it signifies a career and life. According to Senior Airman Christopher Griggs, AADD program director and 325th Air Control Squadron weapons technician, the number of AADD saves for 2007 so far is approximately 380. 

AADD is a Tyndall Active Airmen Association program designed by Airmen to provide Tyndall personnel, who have a valid Department of Defense identification card, a free safe ride home in the local area by dialing 867-0220 when they've had too much to drink and their coordinated plan has fallen through. The local areas include: Tyndall, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach and Wewahitchka. 

The program is activated on Fridays and Saturdays, 5 p.m. through 5 a.m. These hours are extended for holidays, and they can also be activated for organized functions during the duty week with proper notification. 

"It's not a taxi service; it's a last resort for airmen in the situation where they have been drinking and need a safe ride home," said Airman Griggs. "It's an anonymous program that encourages Airmen to make the right decision without fear of retribution," said Airman Griggs. 

According to the Manual for Courts-Martial United States (2005 Edition), provided by the 325th Fighter Wing legal office, any military person who operates or physically controls any vehicle while impaired by alcohol, equal to or exceeding the blood-alcohol content limit under the law of the state in which the conduct occurred, is subject to punishment under Article 111 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

Incidents resulting in personal injury carry the maximum punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for 18 months. Incidents resulting in no personal injury include a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for six months. 

Airmen designed this program to not only save careers but also the lives of their fellow wingmen. 

"The threat of death and injury from driving intoxicated can wipe out years of experience and training, not to mention the impact on family, friends, community and unit morale," said Master Sgt. Edward Best, 325th Fighter Wing Ground Safety manager. "There are many risks to our people and one such risk is the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol." 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2006 Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Fatalities and Injuries, published Aug. 20, 2006, shows that 17,602 people were killed in the United Sates in alcohol-related motor vehicle traffic crashes. 

"Using the AADD program is highly encouraged," said Sergeant Best. 

"It is the responsibility of every Airman to make the right decision when they have had too much to drink. Tyndall Airmen established a no-excuse program when they created AADD; it's not only free and anonymous, it can save your career and life," said Brig. Gen. Tod D. Wolters, 325th Fighter Wing commander. 

AADD is a program supported throughout the Tyndall community. 

The volunteer dispatchers and drivers are comprised of servicemembers of all ranks. 

"The flexibility and reliability of this combined volunteer pool has strengthened the program," said Airman Griggs. "Recurring volunteers can expect reimbursement for fuel, a benefit made possible by Tyndall Top 3 (a non-profit organization comprised of master sergeants, senior-master sergeants and chief-master sergeants)." 

For those interested in volunteering, or for general information regarding the AADD program, a meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. in the Community Activity Center's Diamond Room. Otherwise, individuals can contact Airman Griggs by dialing 283-8574.



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