DUI Fair Held Aboard USS Harry S. Truman

Story Number: NNS091211-09Release Date: 12/11/2009 2:42:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kristin Rojas

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) held a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Fair on Dec. 2 for Sailors who recently reported and for those under age 25.

The fair was just one of many measures Truman has taken in order to reduce the number of DUIs and alcohol-related incidences incurred by Truman Sailors.

Truman's Safety Department, which planned and supervised the DUI Fair, set up realistic scenarios for Truman Sailors to explore. Sailors walked through various scenarios that simulated the consequences of a DUI. The first scenario was set up at a club where Sailors could socialize and drink non-alcoholic beer. The scenario also included a simulated traffic stop by a Virginia State Police officer who administers a field sobriety test. Other scenarios included a simulated emergency room, captain's mast and a court hearing.

When Sailors walked into the emergency room, they were introduced to a coma patient named "Mike," one of the victims of a simulated car accident that occurred because of a Sailor's alcohol consumption. Sailors learned Mike's wife and child were killed during the accident, and the only family he had left was his daughter who was being treated behind a curtain separating the room. His daughter then flat-lined in the scenario, and Sailors were told to leave the room and think of how they could explain what they had done to Mike when he woke up.

The final stage was the funeral of the six-month-old daughter who died earlier in the scenario. Sailors then attended the simulated funeral in the chapel.

"People walk out of certain stations without a smile on their face, because no one's joking around," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Sengphet Sengphachanh. "I can tell they're actually taking it serious and they're not going to be going out drinking and driving anytime soon."

Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Charli Dean, a participant in the DUI Fair, said the training was effective. "I think that for the people who can be influenced by this, it will help," Dean said. "I think it will help people who just had no idea how serious this could be."

Feedback forms indicate that the audience is getting the intended message. Participants pick which scenarios were most effective and which were least effective, and say whether or not the training enhanced his or her decision making. Safety uses the forms to make sure the DUI fair accurately and effectively exposes Sailors to the consequences of a poor decision.

"A lot of the people just don't realize that going through this experience can be scary," Dean said. "And there are people who get angry about the impact that stupid decisions have on people's lives."

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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