Friday, April 6, 2007

TOP STORY >>Airmen driven to stop DUIs

By Tech. Sgt. Arlo Taylor
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Airmen Against Drunk Driving are saving lives one ride at a time. The league of volunteers has potentially snatched 139 souls from the grip of the Grim Reaper in the first three months of 2007.

The program provides no-questions-asked rides for Airmen who have gone out and had too much to drink. By simply calling 987-AADD, a volunteer driver will be dispatched to pick up those too intoxicated to drive.

“There are still some military members who do not understand what the AADD program is all about and why it is in place,” said AADD president Tech. Sgt. Vandal Troutman.

“They unfortunately promote the fear that AADD will question beyond measure anyone who calls for a ride. The AADD representatives are supposed to ask to see your military ID card to make sure you are militarily affiliated,” he said. “The program is open to anyone with an authentic military ID card. The representative should not be looking at the ID for any pertinent information, not even the rider’s age.”

The drivers have one job — to get Airmen home safe and sound.

“I think the military public has the perception that they will be questioned or grilled by the driver about why their original plan failed and why they called AADD for a ride,” said Tech. Sgt. Sheri Masterson, AADD vice president. “AADD is a great program that is here for military members to use if their plan fails. Call us before putting yourself and others in danger by driving drunk.”

Sergeants Troutman and Masterson agree the AADD program shouldn’t be a substitute for a “Plan A,” but is should be remembered as a backup when even the best laid plan fails.

“We want people to use the program — when their plan fails; but, we would rather people plan out their evenings to get themselves and their buddies home,” said Sgt. Troutman.

“AADD is a great program that is here for military members to utilize if their plan fails," said Sgt. Masterson. "Call us before putting yourself and others in danger by driving drunk." One simple call is all it takes for even the most impaired Airmen to make the smart choice of calling AADD.

“It shouldn’t be a hard decision. If you know you are intoxicated and shouldn’t get behind the wheel just call or have someone call for you,” said. Tech. Sgt. Sheri Masterson.

“A DUI on the other hand costs time out of your day for about the next four weeks (including) changing the base DUI signs, regular trips to Wing Headquarters to meet with Winc commanders and your supervisor, relationships between you and your supervision and possibly jail time,” said Sergeant Troutman. “A DUI also risks your career, your life, and worse case scenario, the lives of those around you.”


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