23rd SFS starts DUI awareness checkpoints

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Robert Gallup
  • 23rd Security Forces Squadron assistant operations officer
Starting in October, the 23rd Security Forces Squadron will conduct multiple anti-drunk driving awareness checkpoints in cooperation with key leaders from local units.
The goal of these checkpoints is to further the Air Force campaign to decrease incidents of driving under the influence and to end underage drinking.

According to the 23rd SFS, the average blood alcohol content in military personnel assigned to Moody who were arrested for DUI was 0.123. The legal limit for BAC in the state of Georgia and on Moody is .08. Individuals operating a vehicle with a BAC at or above the legal limit pose a safety threat to all personnel.

"We want people to realize that it is time for them to stop drinking and driving," said Master Sgt. Curtis Murdock, 23rd SFS operations superintendent. "Simply put, just don't do it."

While DUIs are commonly addressed at commander's call, safety briefings and marketing campaigns, which include the Air Combat Command Safety Road Show, awareness checkpoints offer security forces personnel a hands-on way to directly impact the local populous.

It brings home the reality to the individuals working here that driving under the influence and underage drinking are not acceptable.

It just isn't worth the risk to drink and drive. Moody and the local area provide ample options for transportation which include taxis, designated drivers, the Sober Ride program and each individual's chain of command.

The awareness checkpoints will consist of multiple assessment techniques for evaluating an individual's intoxication level. One of these tests makes use of passive sensing by using an alcohol sensing wand which can detect alcohol on an individual's breath from nearly a foot away.

Active alcohol sensing is also used and includes portable breathalyzers and standard field sobriety tests, which include horizontal gaze nystagmus testing. This type of testing observes possible eye jerking movements by having the eyes following an object; uneven gazing or pronounced jerking means there is a greater chance the individual is more highly intoxicated.

To accomplish all of this testing in a true professional manner, the 23rd SFS personnel have undergone training with the local city and county police departments and the 23rd Wing Legal office.

"With the implementation of these anti-drunk driving awareness checkpoints, we hope to accomplish two objectives," said Capt. Justin Secrest, 23rd SFS commander. "We want to remove threats to public safety from the road as well as deter personnel from drinking and driving. In accomplishing these two objectives we hope to provide a safe environment for all personnel and save lives."

Any individuals suspected of driving under the influence or drinking under age will be processed appropriately.

"Having these checkpoints will still help catch the individuals trying to leave base who have already made the poor decision to drink and drive," said Lt. Col. Cory Jeffers, 23rd Wing director of staff. "However, now these checkpoints will prevent those people from leaving our gates and becoming a threat to the local community."