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Navy Announces New Tool to Educate Sailors About Responsible Alcohol Use


While the vast majority of Sailors who do consume alcohol do so responsibly, the Navy has now given its commanders a new tool to use in their efforts to reduce irresponsible use of alcohol among those at their commands, continuing the Navy’s aggressive efforts to provide Sailors with the resources they need to make responsible choices.

As part of the 21st Century Sailor/Marine Initiative, the Navy announced today that Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus approved the use of alcohol detection devices to promote safety, provide education and awareness that complement other unit efforts to promote responsible use of alcohol and deter alcohol abuse.

Under the new OPNAV Instruction 5350.8, random ADD inspections are authorized for all on-duty service members who are assigned to a Navy unit during normal working hours. The intent of this policy is not to inspect those in an authorized leave or liberty status.

While at work, Sailors must be ready and able to carry out their assigned duties. Service members who drink excessively or late into the night and report for duty under the influence of alcohol place themselves, their shipmates and the Navy’s equipment at risk.

ADDs will help identify those service members who may require support before an incident occurs due to the irresponsible use of alcohol. The nature of the program is to promote safety,  education and awareness, complementing other Navy efforts to deter alcohol abuse.

Here’s what you need to know about the new program:

    • ADDs are to be used only as an educational tool that complements command initiatives to deter irresponsible use of alcohol and to assist with identifying service members who may require support and assistance with alcohol use decisions.
    • The information gathered from testing cannot be used as evidence for disciplinary proceedings or as a basis alone for adverse administrative action. However, commanding officers may use ADD results as a basis to further evaluate a service member’s fitness for duty through use of a Competence for Duty examination.
    • In any case where the ADD reading is 0.02 percent BAC or greater, the service member should be retested after a 20-minute waiting period to allow for the effects of any mouthwash, breath spray, gum or mint that may produce detectable results to clear.
    • A service member whose ADD-indicated reading is 0.04 percent BAC or greater will be classified as not ready to safely perform duties, and will be relieved of duty and kept on board the command in a safe and secure environment until an ADD-indicated reading is no longer detectable. Additional non-punitive action focused on safety, training, counseling and education may be implemented at the CO’s discretion.
    • Commands will take the lead for additional actions following a positive ADD reading and may refer a service member to the Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor for any reading of 0.04 percent BAC or greater. Command referrals to the DAPA are not considered alcohol-related incidents.
    • A service member, who has previously completed alcohol rehabilitation treatment, with an ADD indicated reading of 0.02 percent BAC or greater shall, at a minimum, be referred to the DAPA.
    • Service members who refuse to submit to an ADD inspection may face appropriate disciplinary or administrative action.

What do you think of the plan?



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  1. Patricia Fortner Purvis

    this is a very good thing for yall to have-i already feel safe knowing that i have the Armed Forces looking after all of us and we all dont need a member of the Forces to be under the influence it doesnt mention if all the Forces will be doing this i really hope so-my son is apart oif the Navy but right now its D.E.P. he will be leaving in June–but thank all of you for all that you do-and you will be getting a great guy-just send him home safely when the tour is done

  2. jesus christ, looks like i got out at the right time. just more BS while grown ass men get treated like children

  3. Hi, buddies, alchool must be drinked with moderation. Its consumation on execss drive to Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome, potentiating the deleterious effects of PTSD and determining a health situation not easy to care. Also polyneuropathiies and more are related to alchool excsess. Be aware of this and consume it with moderation and on limited quantitatif. It is not difficult mfor men resilent and whose will and skill are notorious. claudio alpaca

  4. It really is amazing that the British, French, Germans, Spanish, Danes, Swedes and just about every other Navy in the world can handle alcohol abloard ship, but apparently the U.S. Navy believes that all their sailors are too immature to deal with drinking. I recall when I was onboard the USS Kalamazoo and we were doing an UNREP with a German ship as part of a NATO exercise and the German crew sent a case of Heineken over on the last load for our crew as a thank you for a safe operation. I was ordered to immediately send the case of beer to the bridge where the CO had it locked up. None of my guys who had performed the work ever saw the beer. Not sure whatever happened to that case of beer, but you can be sure that all of my guys were stone cold sober for the duration of the operation. As soon as we got into port we all headed to the EM club and drank a lot of beer. The reason sailors have this reputaion of being heavy drinkers is because underway it’s zero tolerance and that leads to binge drinking when they get into port. This PC Police mentaity that exists in our military today is what will eventually be the downfall of our armed forces. They are driving people out of the military and dissuading those who may have considered the military as a career from ever joining. All this coupled with the budget cuts and other unreasonable and unneccessary burdens placed on the military will signal the end of the most powerful military on the planet.

  5. The British, French, Germans, Spanish and just about every other Navy in the world have sailors who handle alcohol aboard ships with no problem. On the other hand, the U.S. Navy has been dry since 1862. So, it can be assumed that the U.S Navy treats their sailors as immature children who are unable to act responsibly when it comes to alcohol, while the rest of the world laughs at how ridculous we are. In my 22 years of active duty I witnessed why sailors in our Navy have gained the reputation we have when it comes to alcohol. We are forbidden to drink aboard ship and the ship can be underway for weeks and even months at times, then when the ship finally gets into port we go on drinking binges. In the past hen a sailor over indulged it was considered just part of being a sailor. Now the PC Police of the new Navy expect sailors to perform at the highest level aboard ship and ashore with no way to release from the pressures associated with arduous sea duty. They have added women to ships and expect everyone to behave like a bunch of eunuchs as they are forbidden to have any type of relationship that might be considered “innappropriate” in the PC Navy. If this continues, it will be only a matter of time before our Navy will not be able to get underway because they will drive people out and dissuade those who may have considered the Navy as a career.

  6. BrRobertNapolitanoSchwehr

    Alcohol a blessing or a curse,the choice is yours sailor,but like the old Chief says “you dance too long you pay the piper” or the Judge,my personal experience only.retired as a Lt.

  7. BrRobertNapolitanoSchwehr

    This ain’t no sea story from bitter experience!

  8. BrRobertNapolitanoSchwehr

    “Red eyes in the morning sailor take warning”the way I heard it former sailor.

  9. Progressivism run amok. Josephus Daniels would be proud. I’m glad I retired when I did.

  10. I’m confused about the limits of BAC mentioned in the above article. According to the article, any member who blows higher than 0.02% BAC should be considered unfit for duty… Isn’t the blood alcohol limit to operate a motor vehicle 0.08% BAC? Is it USN policy that one can be unfit to perform one’s duties and still fit to operate a motor vehicle?
    Further, why has the USN determined that a BAC of 0.02% equates to unsafe impairment?
    Finally, how can refusal of a request to provide a breath sample result in disciplinary proceedings when the results of that request cannot be used for either disciplinary or administrative action against a member?

  11. It is somewhat mystifying to me how obtuse the USN has been (and continues to be) with it’s policies on alcohol. I just don’t get it. The US Navy has led the world in the 20th and 21st centuries in technical innovations, and tactics. You’ve produced brilliant leaders and warriors, and yet when it comes to something as simple as a workable and reasonable alcohol policy, you’ve failed miserably.
    If every other Navy in the world can figure it out, why can’t the USN? Even the Russians have a more practical and workable alcohol policy than the USN. The use of ADDs as a teaching tool to teach responsible drinking is downright pathetic. You set your young men and women up for failure with existing policies. You tell them you want them to drink responsibly, but then fail to give them opportunities to act responsibly.
    How many Flag Officers and Command Master Chiefs could live up to the same standards you are now attempting to apply to your young sailors? How many at some point in their sea going career smuggled liquor onboard their own ships or binge drank on a run ashore.
    You’ve failed your people miserably on this, and I’m beyond dumbfounded at the lack of leadership and courage.

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