KMC sees spike in DWIs, DUIs

by Staff Sgt. Megan Munoz
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 569th United States Forces Police Squadron has seen an increase in cases of driving under the influence and driving while impaired since June.
There have been 65 DUIs and 13 DWIs this year, and 31 of the DUIs occurred recently during the month June.
“We had 10 DUIs last weekend alone, with one of them involving an E-Scooter,” said Senior Airman Amber Ihlen, a 569th USFPS police services desk clerk.
Tech. Sgt. Darien Brooks, 569th USFPS noncommissioned officer in charge of operations, said many people are excited to get out of the house now that many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, but they are unaware of how easy it is to get a DUI or DWI.
“Ramstein is a big TDY and deployment hub,” said Ihlen. “Many people passing through don’t know how large the military police and German Polizei presence is.”
In Germany, the legal blood alcohol content limit for driving is 0.05mg. Between 0.05mm and 0.079mm is considered a DWI, and anything above 0.08mg is considered a DUI. Even one alcohol beverage can put some people over the legal limit, depending on factors such as the individual’s size, weight and alcohol content of the drink.
While individuals age 18 to 21 are legally permitted to drink in Germany, operating any sort of vehicle after drinking is not authorized. Members should be aware they can receive a DUI or DWI when riding a bike or E-Scooter, as well.
Nearly 18 percent of DUIs or DWIs in the Kaiserslautern Military Community have involved E-Scooters this year.
When members sign their United States Army in Europe driver’s license, they agree to breathalyzer testing if they are pulled over by the 569th USFPS or the local Polizei. Brooks also stressed that Polizei do not need probable cause to make a traffic stop and administer a breathalyzer or blood test.
“I like getting my paycheck, so it’s really not worth it to take the chance with drinking and driving,” said Ihlen. “Do everything that you can legally to do avoid getting a DUI or DWI — pay the 50 to 100-euro cab fare, have a plan — it’s just not worth the risk.”
A member’s USAREUR driver’s license can be suspended for up to 90 days, and they are subject to command directed non-judicial punishment if they receive a DWI. If a member receives a DUI, the license is suspended for up to one year and they are also subject to command directed non-judicial punishment.
People are encouraged to use local cab companies, a designated driver, the Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving Program, or have another plan in place if they are consuming alcohol.

AADD can be reached at 06315-36-2233 and provides members with a free ride home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.