With all the recent events involving driving under the influence of alcohol happening around U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the KMC, Team Ramstein should remember to have a plan in place when going out on the town.
But when plans fall through, Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving is there to help.
“AADD is helping us provide a safe environment,” said Col. Don 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.”
AADD provides safe rides home for servicemembers and their families throughout the KMC.
“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 servicemembers will come to you, pick you up and take you home in your car,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Herriges, AADD scheduler and 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron operations non-commissioned officer in charge.
The stakes are getting higher for those who decide to drink and drive. Colonel Bacon said he and 86th Airlift Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Bill 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.”
AADD is just a part of the safety program put in place by leadership. The combination of education, deterrents, accountability and alternatives help keep DUI numbers down, though not low enough, Colonel Bacon said.
“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.
AADD had more than 25 saves during the May 30 weekend and more than 100 for the entire month.
“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 (and) the volunteers who are making this program work.”
For a ride home from AADD, call 0631-536-2233.
Any military member can call for a ride home.