Commandos urged to drink responsibly

By Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal: 27th SOW Public Affairs

Every 15 minutes — someone dies as the result of an alcohol-related collision.

The 27th Special Operations Wing safety and Airmen Against Drunk Driving are reminding Air Commandos at Cannon Air Force Base to stay safe and use proper judgment during the holidays.

“As we enter the holiday season, everyone should be extremely vigilant about safety,” said William Keely, 27th Special Operations Wing ground safety manager. “We can’t ignore safety issues until a mishap occurs and someone is seriously injured.”

Airmen should maintain operational awareness to avoid high-risk activities.

“The holiday season is by far the busiest time of year for the AADD program,” said Senior Airman David George, 27th Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron AADD president. “With Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, Air Commandos need to take care of each other and drink responsibly.”

There are a few less-known legal discrepancies people may not be aware of, such as how the law dictates what actions warrant a DUI citation.

For instance, when the alcohol concentration in a person’s blood or breath is equal to or exceeds the legal limit, an intoxicated person sitting or asleep behind the steering wheel of any vehicle with the keys of the vehicle in or near the ignition, but with the engine not turned on, could still be considered in physical control of that vehicle.

However, given the same scenario of alcohol concentration, a person sitting or asleep in the back seat of any vehicle with the keys of the vehicle in his or her pocket, would not be deemed in physical control of that vehicle.

“If you are unfamiliar with the technicalities of the law, you could put yourself or a fellow service member in a potentially unfavorable circumstance,” said George. “It is important to become familiar with local laws, to avoid any unlawful situations.

Aside from being aware of vehicle laws, it is also important to be aware of road safety.

“With the quickly-changing weather in our area, make sure your car is in good working condition,” said Keely. “If you will be traveling long distances, pack a survival kit in case roads are shut down and you are forced to spend the night in your car.”

The following are a few easy steps any driver can take to enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their life or the lives of the others:

• Plan for a ride home before the festivities begin

• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person the vehicle keys

• Look out for icy roads; avoid utilizing cruise control in these conditions or braking suddenly

w If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or utilize the local AADD program by calling 575-784-2233

If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement, the Curry County Sheriff’s department can be reached at 575-769-2335, or dial #394 from your mobile phone.