NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- In a fleet-wide message sent March 11, U.S. Second Fleet Commander stressed to all Sailors how the "0-0-1-3" approach to drinking offers a simple rule of thumb to keep them within the limits of responsible alcohol use.
Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway also stressed this same approach to the 2nd Fleet headquarters staff during an all-hands safety standdown, March 4.
"The 0-0-1-3 approach is zero drinks if you're under age, zero drinks if you're driving, one drink per hour and three drinks per event," said Holloway. "One setting does not equate to three drinks at one bar, and then going to another bar and having three more. Having a good time does not mean you have to drink excessively to enjoy yourself. I am not saying don't drink, but what I am saying is to drink responsibly and have a plan."
The consequences of an alcohol-related incident can be expensive and severe for Sailors, friends, and families. For example, in Virginia driving under the influence (DUI) is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a first offense is a $2,500 fine, one year in jail, and the loss of one's driving privileges for one year. Additionally, all persons convicted of DUI are, by law, required to lose their driving privileges for one year.
"Alcohol abuse undermines combat readiness, puts the safety and welfare of our Sailors and families at risk, and is incompatible with the maintenance of high standards of performance and military discipline," said Holloway.
Studies and research have also shown how alcohol can be a contributing factor to safety mishaps, domestic disputes, assaults, and sexual assaults. In many cases, these incidents can be avoided with a responsible approach to alcohol consumption.
"In fact alcohol is the weapon of choice in the majority of our sexual assault incidents, and alcohol abuse, when combined with sleep deprivation, is one of our major contributing factors to our reported suicides," Holloway said.
Today's Sailor can build a smart plan using many alternatives to drinking and driving. Walking, using a cab service or having a designated driver are recognized ways to enjoy yourself responsibly and get home safely.
Many commands operate a "Safe Ride" program offering free rides to help Sailors get home safely. Throughout the fleet, Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor (DAPA) briefs during command indoctrination and routine training help re-emphasize responsible drinking and making smart decisions.
Though there are many tools in place for Sailors, ultimately it's up to the individual to make the right choice, drink responsibly, and not drink and drive - putting themselves and others at risk.
"I implore all of you to practice safety and operational risk management whether you're at a friend's house or out in town celebrating with friends," said Holloway. "Please think; what are you doing to minimize your risk and maximize your fun? I cannot stress enough the importance of using good judgment and practicing operational risk management in your activities, because I want everyone to arrive safely to their next destination because each of us has a critical piece to the operational puzzle. There is no plan where driving under the influence is acceptable - period."
For more news from Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c2f/.