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Camp Pendleton Gets Breathalyzers To Test Marines’ Blood Alcohol Levels

Photo credit: USMC

LCpl. Hazel Watson blows into a breathalyzer during a demonstration at Camp Pendleton on Jan. 3.

Camp Pendleton officials this week issued blood-alcohol testing devices to unit commanders as part of the Marine Corps Alcohol Screening Program that was implemented January 1, according to a base news release.

The program requires Marines to be tested randomly twice a year.

Marines who test positive for a blood alcohol content of .01 percent will be referred for screening and treatment.

Commanders will be required to refer Marines and who test positive for a blood alcohol content of .04 or above to medical staff for a "fit for duty" determination.

Camp Pendleton substance abuse counselor John J. Veneziano said of the need for testing:

“A lot of people don’t understand that getting eight hours of sleep after a night of drinking may not be enough to get the alcohol out of your system. Most think that if they go to bed for a few hours, get up, shower and shave, they are okay to get on the road and head to work the next day.”

The Marines are using the Alcomate Premium breath alcohol testers as a deterrent to troops having any alcohol in their system during duty hours.

Camp Pendleton substance abuse program specialist Jerry Cole said another purpose of the Marine Corps Alcohol Screening Program is to identify troops in the budding stages of alcohol abuse:

“Early identification and referral is the best chance that an individual has at getting the help they need. The earlier you identify them, the better chance they have of getting through it without damaging their careers.”

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