BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) marked 41 consecutive days without out a driving under the influence (DUI)influence Dec. 18.
The standard for Lincoln Sailors, as set by Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Hall, is always zero DUIs, however the streak of 41 days remains noteworthy because of the team effort of the entire crew. Not only have DUIs decreased by 53 percent, overall alcohol related incidents have also decreased by 50 percent in comparison to the ship's last Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), from September 2006 to June 2007.
"A huge part of our success is better communication this time around," Lincoln's Drug and Alcohol Prevention Advisor, Chief Fire Controlman Curtis Foster. "We get the message out to our Sailors about being smart and having a plan when you drink. We then give them the tools to make good decisions."
According to Foster the DUIs that occur aren't from lack of a plan, but making poor decisions while under the influence.
Every Sailor received information on responsible alcohol use, the effects of alcoholic "mega" energy drinks, and how different amounts of alcohol affect a person's blood alcohol content by weight. The message of responsible alcohol use is reinforced by the 0-0-1-3 standard of zero driving while drinking, zero underage drinking, and a guideline of one drink per hour and a max of three drinks per night.
The ship has given out individualized wallet cards so that each Sailor can write down their plan ahead of time. The cards include space for their leading petty officer, chief and division officer's phone number in case of emergency, along with a special taxi cab number for the Sailor who has been drinking to call for a "safe ride" home without needing to pay at the time of the call. The ship, during this PIA, has also had many events and programs available to Sailors through the ship's Morale Welfare and Recreation.
Even with all of the information and programs available to Sailors, the most effective way the ship has been preventing DUIs may be the communication that's taking place at the deck plate level.
"When I talk to my Sailors about the dangers of driving drunk, I use real-life experiences as examples of what can happen if they do decide to get behind the wheel in that state," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Daniel Wickersham of the ship's Weapons Department. "I really want them to realize the potential consequences of drunk driving.
"I tell them if all they lose is money and rank, then they got lucky. I've seen too many shipmates and friends killed by driving drunk. I also tell them the when they leave here each day, it's all on them to be smart and make the right decisions when drinking."
As a result of the communication, Lincoln Sailors have been embracing the designated driver system and making sure they plan each time they go out drinking.
Sailors are realizing the seriousness of a DUI, and take every precaution to avoid a charge that could cost them their career.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.