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Responsible drinking a vital part of summer safety

  • Published
  • By Airman Dillon Parker
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A vital aspect of a safe and enjoyable summer is practicing responsible drinking.

“Risky drinking leads to poor judgement,” said Master Sgt. Anita Garcia-McClintock, NCO in charge of the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. “It leads to more ‘watch me’ moments when combined with summer activities.”

Because alcohol is a depressant that affects the frontal lobe of the brain which is responsible for inhibition and insight, Garcia-McClintock highly encourages members of the JBSA community to think before they drink during the upcoming summer months.

“It’s a perfect storm when combined with things like hunting, swimming and other common summer activities,” said Garcia-McClintock. “The likelihood of a fatal or severe accident increases drastically.”

As a military member or DoD employee, there is also a chance of disciplinary action whenever risky drinking, which refers to drinking without a plan to get home safely, drinking while engaging in physical activities and more, is involved.

“There’s article 15’s, reduction in rank and suspended rank or pay, loss of security clearances and discharges,” said Garcia-McClintock. “It’s kind of a snowball effect when it comes to risky drinking.”

At JBSA, a group of dedicated volunteers devote their weekends to ensuring the JBSA community has an option for a safe ride open if their plan falls through. The Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving Committee offers a safe ride home to members of the JBSA community Friday-Saturday from 10 p.m. – 2:15 a.m., by calling  (210) 710-7171.

Garcia-McClintock said the Air Force’s 0-0-1-3 policy is sound advice – zero drinks for those under 21 years of age, zero DUIs, a maximum of one drink per hour and a maximum of three drinks per night.

“0-0-1-3 is a way to safely and responsibly enjoy alcohol,” said Garcia-McClintock. “One drink per hour gives your body a chance to safely metabolize alcohol.”

Garcia-McClintock added that binge drinking should be discouraged, as it drastically increases the chance of an alcohol related incident or referral. Binge drinking is defined as five or more alcoholic for males and four or more for females on the same occasion.

Garcia-McClintock imparted that ADAPT is here for Airmen to help with alcohol related issues and is all about prevention. ADAPT offers personal appointments to assess risk and is here to talk to Airmen about preventative alcohol safety measures and any alcohol related-questions at 292-4452.