RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
According to statistics, 80 percent of college students, ages 18-24, try alcohol before age 21; 43 percent are considered binge drinkers or have five or more drinks in one sitting at least once in two weeks; 21 percent are frequent binge drinkers or have five or more drinks in one sitting at least three times in two weeks.
These statistics are cause for concern for Airmen in the same age group.
Junior enlisted Airmen, ages 17-24, make up only one-third of the total active duty Air Force, but account for 81 percent of the Air Force's alcohol-related incidents.
Rising concern for the health and welfare for Air Force members prompted the development of and Air Force-wide responsible drinking program.
A "0-0-1-3" concept was tested at F. E. Warren. The concept was created to encourage responsible drinking among Airmen.
The first and second zeros represent the law of zero underage drinking and zero incidents of driving under the influence. The one represents one drink per hour and the three stands for no more than three drinks per evening.
The concept was a success, resulting in a 27 percent decrease in DUI rates and a 74 percent decrease in underage drinking incidents.
Randolph has adopted this concept as part of an overall campaign for a Culture of Responsible Choices program.
Master Sgt. Gary Scott, Noncommissioned officer in charge of the Life Skills support flight, is the base point of contact for the Culture of Responsible Choices program on Randolph.
"We have established a working group to help develop future programs and plans to foster education about making responsible choices," he said.
Although most alcohol related incidents do not involve vehicles, alcohol misuse education is mainly geared toward the prevention of incidents involving driving under the influence, Sergeant Scott said.
"There has been a 29 percent decrease in the number of DUIs on Randolph since last year, but the number of alcohol related incidents has not changed," he said. "We want to educate people and possibly help them make responsible choices all the time, not just when choosing not to drive."
With the holiday season, comes parties and gatherings where alcohol is prevalent. Sergant Scott explains that the 0-0-1-3 concept is part of prevention efforts on base to
encourage Airmen to enjoy the holidays without making alcohol the focus.
Suzy Harrington, Health and Wellness Center health education program manager explains that during the holidays it is important to be safe whether going to parties or hosting them.
"Our base displays at the fitness center annex, clinic, dinning facility, library, military personnel flight and Air Education and Training headquarters building list tips for holiday safety," she said. "Impaired driving is no accident. Holidays are meant for fun, family, and friends - be responsible so your holidays aren't ruined."