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The Marine Corps has a zero-tolerance policy on substance abuse. Just like drugs, alcohol physically impairs the body to perform to its fullest capabilities. Drinking and driving not only puts the driver at risk, but the passengers and other motorists in danger as well. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonah Lovy/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy

DWI Prevention Campaign educates service members on alcohol abuse

24 Mar 2016 | Pfc. Nicholas P. Baird Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Driving while intoxicated costs more than just a fine and a night in jail. An individual’s entire life can change along with the lives of those they put at risk because of a stupid decision.

As a way to encourage individuals to make responsible choices, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is conducting a DWI Prevention Campaign during March and April to reinforce the message of the current Protect What You’ve Have Earned initiative.

“We all have things we value in life; ranging from people, such as family or friends; to ideals, such as freedom and good health,” said Brenton M. Baker, an alcohol prevention specialist with Marine Corps Community Services at Cherry Point. “At any given moment, the choices and actions we take either protect or risk the things that we care so much about.  The hope of this campaign is that individuals who choose to consume alcohol will make responsible choices for getting home; and in doing so, protect what they value most.”

Baker stated that the primary image being shown for the campaign references the financial and personal costs of making a choice to either get a safe ride home, such as a taxi, or taking a far more expensive ride in a police car following a DWI arrest.

“Apart from the safety issues associated with DWI, a first-time DWI in North Carolina costs an average of $7,000 to $10, 000,”said Baker. “We hope the campaign is a call to actions and choices that protect against such consequences.”

Individuals learn how making low-risk decisions while consuming alcohol directly affects their overall mission readiness and provides a better quality of life for Marines, Sailors and families.  

“The hope is that the DWI Prevention Campaign, along with other prevention initiatives will help reduce the number of alcohol-related arrests and incidents to include DWIs,” said Cassaundra E. Bass, the substance abuse clinical counselor director at the Substance Abuse Counseling Center. “We also hope to see people making smart choices surrounding alcohol use.”

The message of this campaign, in conjunction with the Protect What You’ve Earned Campaign, starts with personally committing to responsible decisions around the use of alcohol, including not driving after consumption. Accountability is promoted between service members and having the courage to intervene when someone is making poor decisions with alcohol or is in need of help.

“You’ve earned your eagle, globe and anchor. Now protect it,” said Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. “There are two names on your chest, the one you were born into, and the one you enlisted into. Both mean family. Make sure you don’t let either one of them down.”

Additional information on this campaign, including electronic images that can be printed or displayed online, is available through an alcohol abuse prevention specialist who can be reached at (252) 466-8413.

Service members can contact the Substance Abuse Counseling Center directly at (252) 466-7568, or Behavioral Health, “One Portal of Entry” at (252) 466-3264.

To get more information on the Protect What You’ve Earned initiative and the common mindset shared by the DWI Prevention Campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1pqEpBv.

Prevention and education resources, and individual assistance to those in need are available through Behavioral Health.


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