It’s common knowledge that sailors and Marines are known for their excessive drinking and parties. It may just be a generalization, but the connections have been there for decades.
The US Marines and professional sailors will now be subjected to a move to make the connection a misconception.
Starting January first, Marines from Camp Pendleton, as well as other Marine installations across the nation, are going to be given breathalyzer tests. And it will be done twice a year, at random.
Lieutenant General R.E. Milstead Jr., deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, orders any Marine or sailor with a blood-alcohol level of 0.01 percent or higher to be counseled. They’re dead serious about this.
A single drink can be enough to keep you grounded. This blood-alcohol level is actually an eighth of that required by the State of California to suspend your driver’s license, according to the L.A. Times.
A study in September showed that binge (or “sport”) drinking is highly popular among the military. This used to be the same concept that people had about professional truck drivers, and I can honestly tell you that any truck driver caught even gargling mouthwash with alcohol in it will be told to sit and wait for it to get out of their system.
In fiscal 2011, the last year available, the Marine Corps reported 13 alcohol-related deaths among Marines in this country and abroad. Included were Marines killed by vehicle crashes, one falling several stories from a building, one from attempting to cross a freeway near Camp Pendleton, and several that occurred just from drinking and passing out.
There have also been strong indications that there is a link between excessive drinking and accusations of sexual assault and violence among Marines, says the Associated Press.
Prior to this measure, Commandant General James Amos wrote:
“Despite our efforts, we have been ineffective at addressing and eliminating sexual assault within our ranks.”
It looks like our Marines are about to sober up fast if they haven’t already.