Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day safely is good for your career

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kelsey Glover
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Legal Office

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. Fine folk everywhere will be decked out in green and celebrating in all kinds of ways.

While it is fun to enjoy the Irish tradition, don’t be consumed by the leprechaun’s intoxicating tricks. St. Patrick’s Day is known for many traditions to include drinking.

It is important to keep in mind that over indulging in alcohol can have detrimental effects for military members, their families and civilian employees.

A good way to pace yourself and remain in control is to follow the 0-0-1-3 rule. Zero drinks if you're underage, zero drinks if you're going to be driving, no more than one drink an hour, and no more than three drinks a night.

A drink is one 12-ounce beer of 5 percent alcohol, one 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor, or one 5-ounce glass of wine.

One Long Island Iced Tea will break the 0-0-1-3 policy. Just one Long Island can have up to five standard drinks. Make sure you know what the bartender, or your friend, is serving you.

Air Force wide, there is an increase in alcohol related incidents around holidays. Common offenses military members receive Article 15s for are: Article 111, driving under the influence; Article 92, underage drinking and providing alcohol to minors; and Article 134, public intoxication and drunk and disorderly.

An Article 15 can be given for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and violations of state or federal laws.

Punishment under Article 15 affects promotions, assignments and reenlistment opportunities.

Conviction for a DUI violation in Garfield County for the first offense can result in a misdemeanor conviction, participation in an alcohol and drug substance abuse evaluation and assessment program, imprisonment in jail for not less than 10 days nor more than one year and a fine of not more than $1,000.

Military members convicted in a civilian court may also face administrative action by the Air Force. They can also lose base driving privileges.

A DUI conviction damages trust from superiors and subordinates and causes long term embarrassment, career limitations, physical inconvenience and monetary suffering.

If you plan to celebrate with alcohol, choose a designated driver you can trust to stay sober and get everyone home safely.

If you first plan falls through, call a Wingman. Your career is more important than any embarrassment you may feel by calling for help.

Be wise, use good judgment, remember 0-0-1-3, and have fun St. Patrick’s Day.