Eliminating DUIs and AROs must be a top priority

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- As part of the 52nd Fighter Wing's ongoing effort to prevent occurrences of driving under the influence and other alcohol related offenses, the AAFES manager and I have agreed the sale of alcoholic beverages at the shopette on Spangdahlem Air Base will be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to midnight.

The new hours during which alcoholic beverages can be sold will reinforce both our Culture of Responsible Choices and the Alcohol Deglamorization Program.

Recently, several DUIs and AROs have occurred in the early morning hours, resulting in disciplinary actions against the Airmen involved and degradation of mission capability. Based on the facts of these cases, I'm concerned our Airmen are not only making bad choices, but also exacerbating the problem by continuing to drink once they arrive back on base from local bars and clubs. It is NOT a responsible choice to obtain more alcohol after already having consumed too much. It is my intent that the new alcohol sales hours will help ensure that only sober and responsible individuals are purchasing alcohol.

Per Air Force Instruction 34-219, Alcoholic Beverage Program, both our 52nd Force Support Squadron and AAFES must be familiar with all Air Force initiatives to eliminate drunken driving by patrons of their facilities. As part of this program, AAFES and 52nd FSS employees who are authorized to sell alcoholic beverages will receive training on how to identify intoxicated persons and on the employees' responsibility not to sell alcohol to someone who appears to be intoxicated. This training will include procedures to prevent individuals from driving under the influence of alcohol.

Eliminating DUIs and AROs must be a top Saber priority. To be clear, my intent here is not punitive ... my intent is to facilitate responsible behavior. This is a team effort, and I need your help! While we are all individually responsible for our choices, we also have an obligation to help our friends, colleagues and teammates make responsible choices. This is particularly important when job stress, personal conflict or intoxication impairs their judgment.

I look forward to your support in ensuring responsible choices are made every day, both on and off duty.