Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hey Sailor!

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced a big change in Naval policy when it comes to alcohol use. Sailors and Marines will now be subject to random blood alcohol tests.

Drinking has long been a part of Naval culture, but after ten years of war, alcohol abuse is playing a growing role in the dismissal of commanding officers, suicides, depression and sexual assault.

The plan is part of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative which was created to improve the health and well-being of the men and women who serve their country. By May 2013, hand-held alcohol detection units will be issued for about 2,000 commands.

Anyone reporting for duty with a BAC of .04 or higher will not be permitted to work. The Navy was quick to point out the results will not be used to punish sailors, but rather help direct them to appropriate counseling, if necessary.

A pilot program last summer tested the BAC of 7,500 sailors. Only 87 individuals tested positive, meaning the vast majority of service personnel use alcohol responsibly, but it was enough to warrant concern.

After hearing the report, Mother Dolphins Against Drunk Sailing (MDADS) clapped their flippers and let out a collective cheer/squeak.

(I can't mention dolphins without thinking of Fa and Be in 1973's Day of the Dolphins. Here's the original NBC promo for a 1977 Saturday night showing of the flick. Kitsch-factor: 8.5)

Good luck, Sailors!

Source Article: "Random Alcohol Tests For Sailors in U.S."