Drinking and Driving: Underage, Military & Binge Drinking

TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………… 5 UNDERAGE DRINKING…………………………………………………………………… 5 MILITARY UNDERGE DRINKING……………………………………………………….. 7 BINGE DRINKING………………………………………………………………………………. 8 CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………. 11 RECOMMENDATIONS/SOLUTIONS……………………………………………………. 11 MILITARY WINGMAN CONCEPT……………………………………………………….. 13 ENFORCING THE LAW………………………………………………………………………. 15 WORKS CITED…………………………………………………………………………………… 17 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Reported Drinking Patterns Among Students…………………………………………………. … 6 Table 1 Binge Drinking Prevalence, Frequency, and Intensity………………………………… 10 Michael J. Green Professor Paul Rosenberg Writing for Managers 2 March 2013 Drinking and Driving: Underage, Military and Binge Drinking We all know one of the worst decisions we can make as responsible drivers is to get behind the wheel after a night out on the town where we may have had a few too many alcoholic beverages. We may not even be in a condition to make a rational judgment, let alone operate a vehicle.
Underage Drinking We all know that underage drinking is when anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol. Many teens face adult problems at a very young age. Underage drinking is a major problem among teens today. In today society, kids are being pressured into doing things at a very young age. Problem many parents are facing in their own life are also posing as problems on their kids. Aside from being illegal, underage drinking can bring about public health problems.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism underage drinking risks include: “Death – 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burn, and drowning. ” (NIAAA) We are not only talking about deaths as well as serious injuries, impaired judgment, increased risk for physical and sexual assault and brain development problems. (NIAAA). As you can see there are serious risks involved with underage drinking.

Compare and Contrast Driving in the Winter and Driving in the Summer

How can you recognize the signs of underage drinking? Here are some signs that can help you recognize underage drinking. We’ve all probably seen some of these warning signs at one point in our life. But how much attention did you really give them. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism here are some warning signs that can help you recognize underage drinking. Has there been a change in their academic grades or any behavioral problems at school? Has there been a change in who they hang out with?
Have they appeared to be less interested in their favorite activity or sporting event? Do they not want to be seen in public or make an appearance at a family function? Can you smell alcohol on their breath or have you found empty or full alcoholic beverages on them or in their room? Do they have slurred speech or muscle coordination problems, such as walking in a straight line? (NIAAA) Again these are just some of the warning signs that can help your recognize that your teenager maybe drinking alcohol.
As you can see from the below chart there’s a high percentage of 12th graders, 42% to be exact, that have had an alcoholic beverage in the past month. If you add up all three grades you get a total of 81% of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders that have drank in the past month. I find this to be an alarming rate and we have to do something to decrease these numbers. (L. Johnston) Military Underage Drinking We all know that you only have to be 18 to enter the military or 17 with your parent’s permission.
So we can serve our country and die for this country but we can’t have an alcoholic drink, legally, until we are 21. Underage drinking in the military is nothing new. I remember when I first came in the Air Force, even though the legal age to drink was 21, nobody really said or did anything about underage drinking. Man how times have changed! Military members between the ages of 18 and 25 tend to be heavy drinkers, more so than their civilian peers. (Rhem) I’m not surprised or really alarmed by this but did you know that 21% of military members admit to heavily drinking.
What I am alarmed by though is this statistic hasn’t been lowered in 20 years. Alcohol abuse costs the Department of Defense over $600 million a year to either treat members or account for lost time at work. The Department of Defense has decided to take a new approach to lower these statistics. According to LtCol Wayne Talcott senior officials like a new approach to preventive maintenance “You maintain a jet engine so it doesn’t fall out of the sky. ” “We need to begin to look at where there are risks to the human weapon system and how we can build a system that protects our people. (Rhem) The military usually waits till there is a problem with alcohol abuse before doing anything about it. However, recently we have seen an increase in developing new programs or procedures to educate our military members about the severity of alcohol related problems. We just want to get the right message to the right people about making better decisions about their drinking behavior. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 111 – Drunken or reckless operations of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel. General, Manual for Courts-Martial United States) As you can see, the military has its own set of rules that members have to follow. Even though the military laws are similar in nature to civilian laws we are held to a higher standard. Some tools that commanders can use to manage alcohol abusers are: Line of Duty determination; Actions involving security clearance, access to classified information or access to restricted areas; Duty assignment review to determine if the member should continue in current duties; Unfavorable Information File or control roster actions based on alcohol related isconduct or substandard duty performance; Separation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for document failure to meet standards; and Administrative demotion, withholding of promotion and denial of reenlistment. (General, The Military Commander and the Law) Line of Duty determination is used to determine if the illness, injury, or disease existed prior to service (EPTS) and if the EPTS condition was aggravated by military service.
It is used to determine whether or not the illness, injury, or disease, or death occurred while the member was absent from duty and whether or not the illness, injury, disease or death was due to the member’s own misconduct. Once the findings are revealed from the Line of Duty investigation, it may impact the following areas: You may not be eligible for disability retirement and/or severance pay; you may not be entitled to pay and allowances; your current enlistment could be extended to include any period of time that you were unable to perform your duties; you could be denied your veteran benefits or medical benefits.
If the line of duty investigation finds you guilty you could lose out on more than you thought. (General, The Military Commander and the Law) As you can see, Commanders have several tools at their disposal to prevent or correct alcohol related incidents. But that doesn’t mean they can prevent all of them. Binge Drinking Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to . 08 grams percent or above.
This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. (Alcoholism) According to national surveys: One in six U. S. adults binge drinks about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge; While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18-34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often – an average of five to six times a month; Binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more than among those with lower incomes; Approximately 92% of U.
S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days; Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older; The occurrence of binge drinking among men is twice the occurrence among women; Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers; About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks and more than half of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks. CDC) Frequent binge drinkers can have the most serious health problems. These people are seven to sixteen times more likely, than non-binge drinkers to have missed classes, gotten behind in their school work, engaged in unplanned sexual activity, and not used protection during sexual intercourse, had run-ins with police, damage property, and been injured or hurt. (CDC) As you can see from the above chart binge drinking happens in all age groups, race and ethnicity group’s, educational levels, and in all income levels.
Conclusion I’ve talked about several problems that are related to underage, military and binge drinking and driving. Why I talked about all three of these types is that they intertwine with one another. Most if not all of us had a drink before we were 21, I know I did. Does that make it right for the next generation to continue to do so? Who’s to say! We have come a long way since I was under 21 and we still have a long ways to go. I don’t think we will ever completely get rid of underage, military or binge drinking and driving.
It’s going to happen! But we can make some recommendations or solutions to educate our kids. Recommendations/Solutions In my opinion there is no right way or wrong way about reducing underage, military or binge drinking and driving. Each state and/or city may have their own way of trying to reduce drinking and driving. But here are some examples of what is being proposed and done in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area on Military bases and on College campuses throughout the state.
How can we improve the educational processes to educate our youth about the dangers of alcohol? What we do know is that educational programs that only provide information or that focuses on self-esteem or resisting peer pressure haven’t been effective. The Wyoming youth group is proposing a more aggressive approach. Instead of waiting till community colleges and Universities are experiencing binge drinking problems we need to start at the grade school and high school levels. (Group)
Here is a detailed list of what the State of Wyoming is recommending at all educational levels: Developing school cultures that promote prevention and intervention policies; Increase state and local funding for prevention education in schools and colleges; work with senior administrators to understand what must be done to reduce underage drinking; make sure colleges and universities adhere to policy enforcement and changes; ensure constant development and consistent communication with statewide colleges and universities; proper certification for employees serving alcoholic beverages; encourage youth involvement for positive change. Group) Here is what the State of Wyoming is recommending at kindergarten through twelfth grade: See what programs have shown success and share them with other Wyoming schools. Provide education to school employees on how to identify underage drinking and how to handle the situation. Educate youth in making healthy, safe and lawful lifestyle decisions. Have alcohol-free events and activities. You can even go as far as doing random sobriety checks before people leave the event or activity.
Educate the youth about the dangers of underage drinking to include brain damage, addictive disorders and legal consequences that can arise from alcohol abuse. Talk with them about how alcohol can impair their performance standards in and out of the classroom. Provide education to both the kids and to the parents. Parents need to be able to communicate effectively with their children. Help them acquire necessary skills regarding advertising and promotion of alcohol. Establish support groups for kids when there is drinking in the home.
Ask for feedback and/or surveys this will enable all parties to see what is and what isn’t working. (Group) For higher education the State of Wyoming is recommending the following programs: Utilize the best programs found by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This will help you in developing your own local college programs. The plans should include but are not limited to: screening and intervention strategies; encouraging alcohol free events or activities; limit alcohol related advertisement on campuses; enforcing campus policies and state and local laws; continuous research and program evaluation.
Support efforts by colleges and Universities to reduce alcohol use; ask for support and help from senior leadership on college campuses to increase awareness of high-risk alcohol related activities; increase education to first year students, athletes and organizations that promote alcohol related activities; educate your staff, parents, and even alumni and warning signs of alcohol abuse; provide referral information and updates on policies and procedures; provide an anonymous student survey to see if the educational programs are working and underage drinking is decreasing.
Now that we have the schools accounted for what about educating our parents. (Group) Here are some things you can do to ensure you provide the necessary education to their parents. Parents are the first line of defense at times and need to intervene when they see a problem. What can we do for the parents? Establish peer groups – social media is a great source to reach out to for assistance and guidance. Provide presentations by parents from parents that have lived through a death or alcohol related incident. Who is held liable for providing alcohol to minors? Provide effective ways for parents to talk to their children about alcohol abuse.
Provide pamphlets to parents so they can identify the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. Educate the parents on how to host an alcohol free house party for their kid. (Group) These are some of the educational needs that the State of Wyoming is implementing or has implemented throughout the state. As you can see they are not just relying on the schools to intervene. They are making sure parents are involved and how to identify any signs or symptoms their child may be showing from alcohol abuse. I feel that these educational needs can be easily implemented within each and every state. Military Wingman Concept
The term Wingman stems from a time-honored tradition within our Air Force flying community that essentially says a lead pilot will never lose his/her Wingman. It’s a promise, a pledge, a commitment between Airmen who fly. The Air Force has cultivated and instilled this same culture of commitment between all Airmen and Air Force civilians in all career fields and specialties via the Wingman program. Being a Wingman isn’t easy, but all Airmen at all levels of command have a role as Wingmen. How can you transfer this ability of being a wingman from military time honored tradition to a non-military environment?
You would think this would be easy, but some people don’t recognize the concept. I’m going to use a sports analogy to help explain the Wingman concept. “Let’s say we have a highly skilled professional football team. Holes in the line open up an instant before the running back reaches them at full speed, allowing him to achieve a big gain. Pass receivers run complicated pass routes, turning back to look at the quarterback after the ball is already airborne on its way to them. Simultaneously, offensive linemen keep defensive players from reaching the quarterback just long enough for him to get the pass off…and not a moment longer.
Meanwhile, the quarterback, without even looking at or coordinating with his blockers, knows just how long he can hold the ball before he has to get rid of it. And the timing of all this is compressed into less than four seconds. ” (Dettmer) As you can see, the wingman concept can be carried over to non-military business situations. But we seldom see this in businesses. Businesses are still comprised of mutual activities that at times require a team effort to complete a project or task. Some of it may be due to the fact at the end of the day you get to go home and you don’t have to rely on them to save your life.
The Wingman concept is simple and easy to implement into your work area, no matter where you work. To be a good Wingman all you have to do is take care of yourself and those around you. Some ways you could do this is when you are out with your buddies and they’ve had a little too much to drink, you step up and tell them they’ve had enough. You don’t let your wingman get behind the wheel of a car after they’ve had anything to drink. It’s not about being their friend; it’s about saving their life or someone else’s life. In the end it comes down to making the Wingman concept a way of life, and not just a slogan.
Enforcing the Law How can you control drunk driving? It requires four board strategies: Deterrence; Treatment; Information and education; and Prevention. I’m going to provide solutions on how we can implement all four and decrease or control drunk driving. What is deterrence and how can that control drunk driving? Deterrence is simple! However, it may not be all that simple to pass new laws that prohibit drunk driving. Deterrence is also enforcing existing laws and holding those that broke the law accountable. It’s basically like, striking fear into them if they do decide to drink and drive.
A good example of this is the zero tolerance law. Not all states have this but some do. It’s a law that applies to anyone under the age of 21 that gets caught for drinking and driving. How embarrassed would you be if you got caught for drinking and driving and lost your driver licenses? If you were still in high school, most likely the whole school would know about it. This alone could be a deterrent for some, but maybe not for all. (Hedlund and McCartt) Treatment is about getting the help you need when you need it. Alcohol is a drug and if left untreated can cause serious damage to your health and to others around you.
However, treatment sometimes only happens once you have been arrested or caught. The most difficult thing is to self-identify and get the help you need before it’s too late. Changing individual’s behavior is not easy. However, if you can assess all offenders equally and then assign them a treatment program that is appropriate for their needs. (Hedlund and McCartt) Information and education by itself doesn’t decrease drinking and driving and has little or no effect on reducing it either. However, combined with deterrence and prevention programs it goes a long way.
Educating the public on drinking and driving laws has proven very effective in reducing drinking and driving. For example those states that have “Zero Tolerance” laws in place 85% of drivers were not aware that the blood alcohol content for minors was different than for those that are over 21. With a little information and education in those states they reduced drinking and driving crashes by 30%. It has been proven that a little education can go a long ways. (Hedlund and McCartt) With prevention we have control over a few things. We can enforce the policies that are in place or create new one law’s.
We have already established the legal age to drink alcohol is 21. By increasing the legal age from 18 to 21 this was an attempt to reduce underage drinking. We can regulate the places and time when you can purchase alcohol. You have to have a liquor license to sale or distribute alcoholic beverages. Some states also regulate on the day and time you can purchase alcohol. For example some states don’t allow you to purchase alcohol on Sunday before noon or not at all, and most states don’t allow the sale of alcohol after 2 a. m. We can also regulate the taxes on alcoholic beverages.
For example the amount of taxes for alcoholic beverages in the State of Wyoming hasn’t increased since 1935. (Group) Prevention programs can make a difference, but even small measures are better than nothing at all. Programs like training bartenders or servers to know when they should stop serving to the customer have proved beneficial. In the end though, the best strategy for progress is through improved deterrence, with assistance from the other three strategies. Works Cited Alcoholism, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and. “NIAAA council approves definition of binge drinking. NIAAA Newsletter (2004): 3. CDC. “Vital signs: binge drinking prevalence, frequency, and intensity among adults – U. S. 2010. ” MMWR Morb Mortal Weekly Report (2012; 61 (1)): 9-14. Dettmer, William. “The Wingman Concept. ” 2006. The Wingman Concept. 2 Mar 2013. General, Judge Advocate. “Manual for Courts-Martial United States. ” General, Judge Advocate. Manual for Courts-Martial United States. Maxwell AFB: The Judge Advocate General School, 2012. IV51 – IV53. General, Judge Advocate. “The Military Commander and the Law. ” General, Judge Advocate. The Military Commander and the Law.
Maxwell AFB: The Judge Advocate General School, 2012. 215-223. Group, Cody Youth. “Wyoming Cares. ” Jan 2012. http://www. wyocare. org/items/get_pdf/1416%20%20problems%20and%20solution%20document. 2 Mar 2013. Hedlund, James H. and Anne T. McCartt. Drunk Driving: Seeking Additional Solutions. Traffic Safety. Washington D. C. : Preusser Research Group, Inc, 2002. L. Johnston. “Centruy Council. ” Dec 2012. Centery Council. 2 March 2013. NIAAA. National Institute on Alchohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 2013. 2 March 2013. Rhem, SSgt Kathleen T. “Alcohol Abuse Costs DoD Dearly. ” U. S. Military (2000): 1.

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