Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) Safety Department displayed a wrecked car destroyed by a drunk driver on the ship’s quarterdeck Dec. 22 to increase the awareness of the dangerous consequences of drinking and driving.
“Lincoln leadership can make you aware of the impact and the consequences of driving under the influence (DUI), but it’s the Sailors’ buddies that are around when these events happen that can really stop it,” said Cmdr. David Gaugler, Lincoln’s safety officer. “Placing it here on the quarterdeck is a great way for Sailors to get involved on a peer-to-peer basis – where the intervention needs to happen.”
Although the physical dangers of a DUI were presented, there are many other penalties that the presentation was designed to make Sailors aware of.
“The overall impact of a DUI is a life changing event – the possibility of being separated from military service, in excess of $10,000 in legal fees, possible injuries, the lasting effects on others – these are terrible consequences for one bad decision,” said Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate Anthony Richardson.
While the presentation was a sobering reminder to have a plan and never get behind the wheel of a car intoxicated.
“DUI’s are easily preventable. We’re not telling our Sailors they can’t drink and have fun, but simply, that they need to put their keys away when they do,” Richardson said.
Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Lee Salas further emphasized the importance of this safety reminder during the holidays.
“The campaign is directed at driving under the influence of alcohol, this accident could also symbolize someone driving reckless speeds,” said Salas. “A vehicle driving over the speed limit is like a weapon out of control! Making good decisions all the time is key to success.”
Lincoln is currently undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class carriers.