Yokosuka officer: ‘Have a plan’ when drinking during holidays
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A single cup of holiday cheer can get your name on Yokosuka Naval Base’s “Sign of Shame” if you get behind the wheel this holiday.
After a late-summer stretch with no drinking and driving infractions, numbers recently shot upward, base officials say.
According to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, base personnel racked up 14 incidents since Sept. 15, with half of those incidents occurring between Thanksgiving and Dec. 20, said Senior Chief Petty Officer Ken Bridges, base operations officer.
Six infractions fell under the “Driving While Drinking Indicated” category, which sets the blood alcohol percentage limit at 0.03 percent.
Also logged were five cases of driving under the influence (DUI) and three cases of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Both categories register higher percentages of blood alcohol and mean larger fines and punishments.
The important thing is to “have a plan” when you go out this holiday season, said Yokosuka Naval Base Commanding Officer Capt. Greg Cornish.
“It’s always a conscious decision on someone’s part to get in a vehicle in an inebriated state and drive. We’ve been pretty good on the base — our trends show that we’re doing better than last year — but we’ve had a few incidents recently. Any time you have one person drinking and driving, that’s one too many.”
Base bars have charts that can show you when you’re likely over the limit, Cornish said. And the base employs deterrents to drinking and driving — namely an “aggressive, random” DUI checkpoint system, said CFAY spokesman Phil Molter.
These sobriety checkpoints don’t taper off for the holidays.
“No more checkpoints than normal are done during the holidays” because they’re done every day and night, said Bridges.
The base also posts the daily count of drunken driving-free days on the main gate’s electronic bulletin board — the “Sign of Shame.”
Yokosuka Naval Base offers several preventive services to keep people from becoming a drunken-driving statistic. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation department has a Designated Driver program and on- and off-base taxis run 24 hours. For an on-base taxi, call DSN 243-4444. For off-base cabs, call 046-825-4444.