Sober driving contract can save lives

Staff Sgt. Adrian Flores
435th Materiel Maintenance Squadron

***image1***It’s been nearly a year, and still I am reminded daily of the consequences of my irresponsible actions.
I was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol last June and that event has changed my life forever. It was also a huge turning point in my life, since I was also going through a divorce at the same time. It was the lowest point in my life. I was scared, hopeless and severe depression had sunk in.
I was fortunate enough to have people in my squadron that really cared and looked out for me. They steered me back in the right direction, and with the good Lord by my side and good advice from Mama, I managed to get through these difficult times.
There was a lot more to my rehabilitation process: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous and Family Advocacy. Until last week, my thought on DUIs was: there is no real way to prevent them. People are going to do what they want, regardless of what you tell them. Sure, you can threaten them, inform them of the consequences, but in the end there is always free will.
Last week, my commander set-up a mandatory DUI briefing for all squadron personnel (available at 435abw/435LRG/mms/DUI_Briefing.htm).
He asked me to write a few testimonials to include in his presentation, which I thought was a great idea. The slides were very intense and they shocked many people because of their graphic nature, and the stories told were very sad. It definitely had a lasting impression on many people and I think that it could have the same effect on others. The most important point was that we must help one another.
My commander also introduced our anti-DUI program: 24-hour help numbers for everyone in our squadron; our own serial-numbered “Team War Reserve Materiel Card” containing more phone numbers and a ride home from one of the taxi companies in Kaiserslautern; and finally a contract we will all sign:
“I, _____, will not drink and drive. If I decide to drink, I will surround myself with at least one person that I trust who will look out for me. I will have a plan to get home safely and make sure those I’m with also have a plan. I will personally ensure that anyone I’m with gets home safely. I understand that I can call ANY Team WRM member and they will, without question, come pick me up if I’ve been drinking – this is a promise we make to each other and it is absolute. I will carry the ‘Team WRM Card’ everywhere I go. I will not drink and drive – ever; even if I’ve had one small beer!
Signed: ___________ Date: ___________”
Based on my experience, I truly believe this is the benchmark program for all other organizations in the KMC. You simply cannot go wrong if you follow these simple steps.