WASHINGTON – The Marine Corps is launching a random breathalyzer program in an effort to curb underage drinking and Marines reporting to work drunk.
Starting in January, all Marines will be tested for alcohol at least twice a year, according to Col. Tim Foster, chief of staff for Marine and Family programs. Marines with blood alcohol levels of 0.01 percent or higher will be referred to training and further screening at a substance abuse counseling center. Marines with a result of 0.04 percent or higher will be referred to a doctor to determine whether he or she is fit for duty.
All commanders must appoint an officer or non-commissioned officer to serve as alcohol screening program coordinator in each unit, according to an all-Marine message about the program. Breathalyzer results will be sent to the base substance abuse counseling center.
The alcohol screening program sprung from the Secretary of the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative, a set of objectives and policies aimed at improving the health and readiness of the Navy and Marine Corps.