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News > AADD helps keep DUI numbers down
 
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AADD saves
AADD’s goal is to prevent accidents, and even deaths, caused by driving under the influence. It has proved to be an important asset for family members, friends and military members. The program’s success is based on support from the KMC joint forces: Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Department of Defense civilians who devote their free time and fuel Friday and Saturday nights to run the program. (Courtesy illustration)
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AADD helps keep DUI numbers down

Posted 6/2/2009   Updated 6/2/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Amanda Dick
Ramstein Public Affairs


6/2/2009 - RASMTEIN AIR BASE, Germany  -- With all the recent events involving driving under the influence of alcohol happening around U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Team Ramstein should remember to have a plan in place when going out on the town.

But when plans fall through, one organization is there to help ... Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving.

"AADD is helping us provide a safe environment," said Col. Donald "Bits" Bacon, 435th Air Base Wing commander. "We should have other game plans going into any evening, but if all else fails, AADD is available. It's the best alternative to driving drunk, where you could risk a DUI or risk creating a fatality."

AADD provides safe rides home for Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and family members throughout the KMC.

"AADD provides an anonymous service to get you home," said Tech Sgt. Jason Herriges, AADD scheduler and 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron operations noncommissioned officer in charge. "If you went out for a good night and your original plan didn't work out, you can call AADD and two of your fellow service members will come to you, pick you up and take you home in your car."

When going out, many reasons exist for having a plan or using AADD in the event a plan falls through.

"You do not want to get a DUI or risk your life," Colonel Bacon said. "Also, by driving under the influence, you could create an international incident by killing or injuring a host nation citizen who's innocent, just at the wrong place at the wrong time. The reasons are endless."

According to Sergeant Herriges, "DUIs are preventable if you have a plan and stick to it. And most of all never get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcoholic beverages."

The stakes are getting higher for those who still decide to drink and drive. Colonel Bacon said he and the 86th Airlift Wing commander, Brig. Gen. William Bender, focus on accountability when it comes to DUI offenders.

"We realize only half percent of our population gets a DUI," the colonel said. "We do not want to punish the 99.5 percent, but we are going to hold the half percent accountable. We've done a recent court martial and we have a couple more scheduled for those accused of DUIs."

AADD is just a part of the safety program put in place by leadership. The combination of education, deterrents, accountability and alternatives helps keep the DUI numbers down, but not low enough, according to Colonel Bacon.

"You put it all together and we're able to reduce the problem by half, but it's still too high. We've got to keep working at it," he said.

This weekend AADD had more than 25 saves and more than 100 saves for the month of May.

Anyone who has the AADD number can call for a ride in the service of a military member. Team Ramstein should have the AADD number in their cell phones, according to the air base wing commander.

If your plan falls through, call 0631-536-2233 for a ride home.

"Lowered DUIs equate to a life saved, a career saved and it also creates a safer environment for Germans and Americans in this community, and that's important," the colonel said. "AADD's been a part of that. We're grateful to the drivers, the volunteers who are making this program work."



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