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Navy To Start Random Alcohol Tests For Sailors (Video)

Video

The U.S. Navy will start sending out alcohol detection devices to commands in the United States starting in February, as part of a new initiative to stem the tide of alcohol abuse among its sailors.

According to the U.S. Forces Fleet Command, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus approved the use of the alcohol detection devices...

...as another tool available for commanders to deter irresponsible use of alcohol and assist in identifying service members who may require support and assistance with alcohol use decisions.

The Stars and Stripes reports the new testing initiative is aimed at "sailors on bases or on ships in port."

The alcohol testing is part of the 21st Century Sailor & Marine initiative. The initiative's website lays out what's involved in the new testing:

-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.

The Marine Corps announced last month it would carry out its own random alcohol tests among its troops.

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