Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

’Tis the season to be safe and sober – and not a statistic

Image of a car wreck being towed away. A crushing and all too preventable loss…NHB/NMRTC Bremerton provided a visual reminder on the deadly dangers of drinking and driving posting the remains of what used to be a new car, demolished by the drunk driver after speeding over 90 miles per hours, causing a collision, and killing the passenger. (Photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton.)

‘Tis the season to be safe and sober, not dangerous and drunk and end up as some statistic.

If that’s not sobering enough, then what is?

The goal for Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton is to ensure everyone’s upcoming holiday season is overflowing with festive cheer and not filled with consequences from bad decisions.

NMRTC Bremerton command leadership recently addressed safety concerns concerning drinking and driving, along with emphasizing the continual need to avoid complacency in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. The message is one that applies throughout the military.

Navy Master Chief Robert Stockton, NMRTC Bremerton’s command master chief, is taking the lead in communicating the seriousness of drinking and driving, noting there is one specific detail common to every alcohol-related incident.

“They are all preventable,” said Stockton, adding that some staff members have expressed confusion in knowing how much consumption of an alcoholic beverage was too much.

“We need to make sure we educate ourselves,” stressed Stockton. 

A five-ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol) will get your BAC up to 0.2. So will 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor, one 12-ounce can of beer (5% alcohol), or a 12-ounce wine cooler (5% alcohol).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there’s a noticeable difference between men and women when it comes to BAC: 

  • For a male with a body weight of 160 pounds, two drinks can have his approximate BAC at .05, which is considered impaired. Two more push his BAC to .09 and legally intoxicated.
  • For a female with a body weight of 160 pounds, one drink has her impaired at .04, and one more in that 60-minute span have her legally intoxicated with a BAC of .08.

“There are severe consequences for getting a DUI. There’s nonjudicial punishment (NJP). That process can affect someone’s higher tenure,” said Stockton, noting that along with the disciplinary measure from the command, a person saddled with a DUI also has to deal with civilian court fines, the impact on their driving record and much more expensive insurance rates.

“But the really big issue is how it impact people’s lives. How much is that worth? We have a responsibility to keep people safe,” said Stockton.

Stockton also strongly advocates that there are options to driving drunk.

“Look, there’s alternatives. Make a plan,” he said. “There are options besides driving yourself if you’ve been drinking. Have a designated driver. There’s available transportation that will pick you and drive you where you want to go. You can call your chain of command. Our command has a safe ride program, too.”

Navy Capt. Shannon Johnson, NMRTC Bremerton commanding officer, said her least favorite part of being a commanding officer is holding NJP, especially involving an alcohol related incident. 

“It is particularly concerning when I have a DUI case before me. The consequences are always very serious, and often career impacting,” she said. “I am also aware that consequences could be far worse than standing before me at NJP. Those who drive under the influence run the risk of having to stand in a courtroom and face the family of someone they killed or injured, and ultimately having to serve time in prison, all because of one irresponsible decision. I want every member of my command to understand how serious this is.

“I care about all of you. It’s a team effort to help everyone make good decisions. Do not let anyone put themselves in a situation that will have life altering consequences.”

Stockton also emphasized the need for intervention.

“If there is a shipmate there to prevent someone – anyone – from driving after drinking, we need them to step up and intervene,” he said. “Don’t allow it to happen. Prevention is a responsibility for all of us. Leadership, we’re charging you to stay engaged with your Sailors. Have the conversation. Look out for each other. Take care of one another. Set the right tone.”

You also may be interested in...

Video
Aug 22, 2023

3 Easy Tips for Hard Conversations - Part 1

3 Easy Tips for Hard Conversations  - Part 1

Is a friend having a tough time? Do you want to talk to them and don't know how? Dr. Joshua Morganstein gives 3 tips on how to talk to a friend or colleague who you think might be having a hard time. 1. Set the stage for a conversation - find a time when you both have the time and aren't rushed 2. Find the words 3. Follow-up This is the first ...

Video
Aug 22, 2023

3 Easy Tips for Hard Conversations - Part 3

3 Easy Tips for Hard Conversations - Part 3

Part 3 - Follow Up Is a friend having a tough time? Do you want to talk to them and don't know how? Dr. Joshua Morganstein gives 3 tips on how to talk to a friend or colleague who you think might be having a hard time. 1. Set the stage for a conversation 2. Find the words 3. Follow-up This is the third video in a series that gives advice on ...

Article Around MHS
Jul 25, 2023

Defense Public Health Experts Investigate If Minority Group Service Members are More Likely to Experience Behavioral Health Problems

A recent Department of Defense study found American Indian and Alaska Native U.S. Army Soldiers had higher rates of suicidal ideation than white soldiers. The DOD is investigating behavioral health disparities among minority groups in the military to see how they might mirror similar disparities in the civilian population. (Graphic illustration: Steven Basso, Defense Centers for Public Health-Aberdeen)

U.S. public health agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health have recognized that certain minority groups appear to experience greater risk for certain behavioral health disorders. The higher rates of adverse health problems in minority groups are often referred to as “disparities.”

Article Around MHS
Jul 18, 2023

Tips for Managing Post-PCS Stress

PCS Stress inforgraphic

Moving season is in full swing for many military families. The process of a Permanent Change of Station, or PCS, can be both exciting and stressful. We've got some tips to help ease the rigors of relocation.

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 28, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery