USS Stethem command master chief relieved of duty
By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 2, 2011
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The command master chief of the destroyer USS Stethem has been relieved of duty following his arrest for driving drunk on base, a 7th Fleet spokesman said Wednesday.
Master Chief Petty Officer Kelvin Coleman was removed from his job aboard the Stethem on Jan. 22 after being arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, said 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis.
Coleman was stopped at 3 a.m. by a master-at-arms working at a scheduled checkpoint in the Ikego Housing Area, Davis said.
Coleman’s arrest came as his ship was preparing to get under way. The Yokosuka-based USS Stethem and USS Mustin departed Monday for Hong Kong, Davis said.
Coleman has been temporarily reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, pending administrative action, Davis said.
Checkpoints are frequently used at bases controlled by Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, including the Ikego area, which borders the cities of Yokohama and Zushi.
“We also have a very aggressive [alcohol] education program, and we hold people accountable to that,” Davis said.
Japan’s drinking-and-driving laws are some of the strictest in the world. A blood alcohol content of .03 is considered driving under the influence of alcohol.
Coleman was one of two Japan-based sailors arrested in recent days for drinking and driving.
On Jan. 26, a Naval Air Facility Atsugi sailor who registered a .03 blood alcohol content on a breathalyzer was arrested after striking a motorcyclist with his vehicle. The motorcyclist died from his injuries two days later.