Military News

Friday, December 18, 2015

December marks National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

by Airman Valerie Monroy
JBER Public Affairs

12/18/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaksa -- With everyone traveling home for the holidays, the month of December is one of the busiest on the nation's roadways. With the holidays approaching, the number for social events that include drinking increases along with DUIs and fatal drunk-driving crashes.

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation Dec. 1 declaring the month, as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The president urged people to use this month to recommit to preventing these incidents by acting responsibly and by promoting responsible behavior by those around us.

People are encouraged to have a plan if they are going to be drinking, but sometimes not everything goes as planned. That's when the Joint Base Against Drunk Driving program comes into play.

JBADD is a volunteer organization and an extension of the Better Opportunities for Single Service Members program.

The primary purpose of JBADD is to provide the service members of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and their spouses with a safe, anonymous, free ride home instead of driving their own vehicles while intoxicated.

"I think JBADD is a great opportunity for service members to assist with not only protecting the local community but fellow members' careers," said Senior Airman Andrew Harrison, 673d Communications Squadron cyber transport systems liaison and JBADD volunteer. "It's an absolute win-win, for both the installation and
the community."

The first incarnation of the JBADD program started prior to joint basing.

"It was Soldiers Against Drunk Driving for the Army and Airmen Against Drunk Driving for Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Silvia Prows, 673d Medical Support Squadron health services management specialist and president of JBADD. "Once we went joint venture, we got backing from the BOSS program and were able to advertise JBADD as a whole for all services."

JBADD relies entirely on support from volunteers.

Prows said JBADD is important because not all service members will dedicate their time to picking up other service members and their dependent spouses, but those that do are helping to eliminate potential tragedies.

"I've seen firsthand what a DUI can do to a unit, the individuals involved and the local community," said Harrison. "It's not something that should happen and JBADD lets me try as much as possible to prevent that."

For some service members, a memorable night out could turn into a career-changing mistake, so the program remains free and fully confidential.

"We do not disclose who we pick up to anyone," said Prows. "We do not contact anyone in that individual's chain. We just get their name and where they're located and pick them up."

The service is available to all active-duty service members, National Guardsmen and Reservists on active duty orders and all dependent spouses, Prows said.

"JBADD is a great tool provided by JBER leaders to make sure our members are safe, and an awesome opportunity to lend a helping hand when someone might need it," said Harrison.

JBADD operates Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., unless otherwise stated.

JBADD should always be a last resort, but when issues arise or plans fall through, you can always call 384-RIDE.

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