Navy and Marine Corps to begin breathalyzer tests
The Navy and Marine Corps will soon institute breathalyzer tests in an effort to curb alcohol abuse, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday.
The Navy will begin requiring every sailor reporting for duty on board a ship to take a test daily, while other sailors will be subjected to the tests at random. The Navy plans to install the alcohol screening equipment on its fleets later this year, while the Marine Corps will begin testing selected units starting in April, according to FNR.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert; and Lt. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, announced the new programs Monday.
About 180 sailors fleetwide are charged with driving under the influence every month, but a pilot program in the Navy’s Pacific submarine forces resulted in a 45 percent drop in alcohol-related incidents, FNR reported. The tests would be nonpunative and not legally admissible, and accompanied by a new educational campaign.