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Have a designated driver; Stay off the road

30 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Sarah Cherry

Alcohol makes people re­laxed and less guarded. It also causes them to have less control over their judgment, concentration and coordina­tion.With the holiday season around the corner, Marines are more likely to socialize with alcohol in their sur­roundings.“Use common sense,” said Officer Ronald Videtto, Acci­dent Investigations and Traf­fic Management for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island’s Provost Marshall’s Offices. “Being a former Marine, I know that when you get on a 96 you want to get away from work. You want to party, you want to drink, have a good time.“Just remember, you’re a United States Marine, num­ber one. You’re supposed to be head and shoulders above the rest,” said Videtto. “You’re representing the Ma­rine Corps, whether you’re on base or whether you’re at home 300 miles from the base.” Since drinking lowers the ability to control judgment and reasoning, it can cause people to make decisions that are harmful or even life-threatening.“Never drink in excess. If you do drink and you’re away from home, always have a plan,” said Videtto. “If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. Simple as that. If you can’t get home, can’t get a cab, call us. We will find a way to get that Marine or sailor, whoever it is, back to base – home safely.”Some options that are avail­able to Marines who need a ride while under the influ­ence include Arrive Alive, calling a friend, calling the military police, or contacting your chain of command.“Marines are supposed to do what’s right. Do the right thing – it’s embedded in them. However, we know that’s not the case all the time,” said Videtto. “The only way to get out of a DUI is don’t drink and drive, just don’t do it.”Due to the way alcohol af­fects people mentally, driving any type of vehicle can end in someone being hurt or killed.“If they’re drinking and they think they can make it home or they think they’re good to drive, they’ve already made the wrong decision,” said Videtto. “Be responsi­ble, use common sense, and be an adult about it. That’s all we ask.”Military Police look for a combination of signs in someone’s driving before suspecting them of driving under the influence of al­cohol, including swerving, wide turns and crossing into other lanes.“If you’re not drinking and driving, then you have noth­ing to worry about,” said Videtto. “We’re not out there just to stop everybody and apprehend everybody. We care about the Marines.”

For more information about drinking responsibly, contact Rebecca Landon, al­cohol abuse prevention spe­cialist for Behavioral Health Division, at 228-2489.