Take care of your wingman, have a plan

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Summer is here again, and with warmer weather it is not surprising that many will begin spending a lot of time outdoors. As people go out and enjoy barbecues and summertime parties, sometimes alcohol will be involved.

If drinking is in the plan, remember to make arrangements to get home before leaving home.

“Have a reliable designated driver, the numbers of either a taxi service or a ride share company on you at all times,” said Jason Jackson, the occupational safety manager assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing safety office. “Call a relative, friend, coworker, supervisor, or someone within your chain of command to help get home. This could save your career, your life or someone else's. life”

Although someone may think they are fine, driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit is still drunk driving.

“Drunk driving is defined as driving with an excess of alcohol in one’s blood,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Prevost, the president of the MacDill Joint Services Against Drunk Driving. “Florida defines drunk driving or driving under the influence as having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, and operating a vehicle, either motor powered (i.e. cars, boats, etc.) or propelled by human power, such as a bicycle.”

Driving drunk can impact both someone’s career and personal life and could cost a pretty penny.

According to the MacDill Safety Office, the first offense alone could cost someone between $8,000 and $10,000.

Aside from hurting someone financially, it can also negatively impact the Air Force mission.

“Driving under the influence causes loss of time at work for any number of reasons, to include being seriously or fatally injured,” said Jackson. “In addition, there is a loss of trust among leadership, supervision and fellow coworkers.”

Drinking and driving not only impacts family, coworkers, the Air Force mission, it impacts those on the road too.

“It is important to remember the possibility for serious harm to oneself and others is increased when someone chooses to drink and drive,” said Prevost. “Don’t take the risk. Don’t end up being a victim or creating victims due to a bad choice.”

For someone in need of a plan this Memorial Day weekend, call JSADD.

“The main purpose of JSADD is to eliminate future alcohol-related (or other impairing substances) driving incidents by providing military, dependents, and DOD civilians a method of transportation,” said Prevost. “It’s primary purpose is to serve as a last resort to aid individuals to their place of residence without fear of repercussion.”

For more information on JSADD or to arrange transportation, please call (813) 313-7356.