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50th Security Forces Squadron seeks to curb DUIs

Every 50 minutes in the United States, someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident.

Every 50 minutes in the United States, someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Driving under the influence or while intoxicated is strictly prohibited and avoidable.

The 50th Security Forces Squadron is attempting to prevent DUIs and DWIs on and off-base by making sure personnel are informed on how to avoid them.

“There's been a slight uptick in DUIs and DWIs, usually happening during the holidays,” said Staff Sgt. Brittany Alvarez, 50th SFS reports and analysis noncommissioned officer in charge. “We just want to remind everybody to ensure that if they are going to drink, they have a plan.”

There are several options and resources available to help avoid getting a DUI or DWI, one of the most common is utilizing ones circle/network.

“Personnel can always call their co-workers or friends to help them out,” Alvarez said. “The last-case scenario is getting a taxi, just so we don't have anyone driving while under the influence or while intoxicated.”

According to etag.com, Colorado is one of 15 states with the strictest DUI laws. Here standard field sobriety tests are voluntary, however, express consent is not voluntary. Anyone with a Colorado driver’s license, has given express consent if law enforcement suspects they were driving under the influence.

“Express consent is where an individual is basically asked for breath or blood samples,” Alvarez said. “They [law enforcement] can take a suspected individual to the hospital or to get a breathalyzer test to figure out if they are intoxicated or not."

When license revocation occurs, an individual can request leniency and receive a temporary license for traveling to work. If the incident occurs on an installation, the situation changes.

“If you refuse to submit to chemical testing on base, it results in a revocation of base driving privileges, which can be difficult considering how far we are located from Colorado Springs,” Alvarez said. “Revocations last for one year. We want to make sure personnel do not put themselves in bad and inconvenient situations.”

The advancement of technology has provided different options to prevent incidents like DUIs and DWIs, but Master Sgt. Timothy Galloway, 50th Space Wing law office superintendent, said it has also taken away an important piece of prevention.

“The phrase 'there’s an app for that' is very true and has led us to have fewer and fewer personal contacts with individuals,” Galloway said.  “As such, when an individual is intoxicated, they are less likely to call a friend and ask for a ride, but more likely to post how amazing their night was.  Due to the lack of personal connection, and individuals not having a clear head, DUIs are still occurring on and off base. Planning, however, is key.”

The 50th SFS wants individuals to remember to have a plan and be good wingmen when having a good time or celebrating.

“Remember as you go out, buzzed driving is considered drunk driving,” Alvarez said. “If you hit the limit on the breathalyzer, it won’t be good. We want to make sure everyone is safe and knows there are several resources available at different times to help prevent poor choices.”

Airmen Against Drunk Driving is another available tool.

“Individuals can call 552-A2D2 [2232] at Peterson AFB, but need to remember they are not a bar-to-bar car service,” Alvarez said. “They will pick you up from your last location and drop you off at your final destination. It may be an inconvenience in the moment, but in the long run it saves time, money and embarrassment.”

For more information about DUIs and DWI’s contact Alvarez at 567-3900.

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