Alcohol use should not put a damper on the holiday spirit

| November 17, 2011 | 2 Comments
Percentage of Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities in Hawaii (Courtesy of US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Percentage of Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities in Hawaii (Courtesy of US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Staff Sgt. Brian Lee
829th Network Support Company, 9th Mission Support Command

HONOLULU — The holidays should be a time for family and friends to catch up with each other, share good times and create lasting memories.

Don’t let alcohol become a negative factor in your festivities this year.

Be aware of the risks that come with consuming alcohol and educate your loved ones about them.

Alcohol-related issues increase in Hawaii during the holiday season.

“We see a lot of it, mostly during the coming holidays,” said Joanne Shimasaki, alcohol and drug control officer, 9th Mission Support Command. “We see a lot more people driving under the influence and domestic violence issues.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Hawaii was ranked last, 51 out of 51, for 2009 in the percentage of total traffic fatalities that were alcohol related in the U.S. From 2007-2009, the percentage increased from 47 percent to 54 percent.

Simple things can be done to prevent alcohol-related accidents.

•Observe the 3D rule: Don’t Drink and Drive.

•Observe the 0013 rule: 0 underage drinking; 0 DUIs; 1 drink per hour; and 3 drinks max.

It’s also always okay to abstain from drinking alcohol, period.

If you or someone you know needs help with an alcohol problem, don’t be afraid. Unit prevention leaders, your chain of command and substance abuse counselors are also available to help.

If you have experience with alcohol issues, please reach out to your friends, family and children. Educate them on the potential dangers, and be there for them if they ask for help.

“I think the big part of it is stepping out of your shoes and viewing it from their point of view, and really trying to see other points of views,” said Staff Sgt. Rg Takahata, unit prevention leader, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital, 9th MSC.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving provides services to help everyone affected by drunk driving, here, in our state. The organization offers many programs like “Tie One On for Safety,” court monitoring, victim support and youth-to-college education on drunk driving.

“The red ribbon (a tie around your vehicle) is a symbol of your pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up,” said Jennifer Dotson, executive director, MADD-Hawaii, adding that from now until Thanksgiving, local radio stations will be on the look out for vehicles sporting red ribbons, calling out license plates and awarding prizes once a week.

Please do your part to prevent DUIs and alcohol-related incidents this holiday season.

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Category: News, Safety

Comments (2)

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  1. Kevin says:

    YES, SO TRUE

  2. Kevin says:

    SSG LEE IS MY HERO

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