A Specialist assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died in a PMV-4 mishap 27 March 2021 on the installation at 0403 local. The Soldier was driving in the wrong direction on a four-lane divided highway when she hit a vehicle operated by another Soldier. The other Soldier’s vehicle became airborne and flipped several times. The Soldier who was driving in the wrong direction was pronounced dead at the scene. The other Soldier was transported to the hospital for multiple injuries and airlifted to the local medical center for surgeries and further treatment. He is in critical but stable condition. It was reported that both Soldiers were wearing seat belts. Alcohol was suspected of being a contributing factor to the mishap. An investigation is ongoing by the local authorities in conjunction with the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigations Division. The POC is waiting for local authorities and medical personnel to release additional information.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 33 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap is the 19th PMV-4 fatality of FY21.
Plenty of people know that drinking and driving don't mix — but many still do it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day. And arrest doesn't typically mark the first time a person drives under the influence. The average drunk driver does so over 80 times before getting caught. The risks are high, but the solutions are simple.
What is drinking and driving?
States differ in what they call it — driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, drunk driving or impaired driving — but in every state, a baseline blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent is considered an offense. For those age 21 and under, zero-tolerance laws criminalize driving with very small amounts of alcohol. States may also have enhanced penalties in place for those who drive with very high BACs, minors in the vehicle or multiple convictions.
What are the consequences of drinking and driving?
When you drink and drive, you're compromising cognitive ability and responsiveness, which increases your risk for an accident. In fact, 28 people die each day because of a drunk driving crash. Get caught, and a single drinking and driving infraction may have legal, financial, personal and even professional ramifications.
- Most states suspend your license for varying lengths of time — sometimes up to a year. Multiple convictions typically equal a revocation of a license. Drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) might have their licenses suspended for a longer period.
- The employers of drivers with a CDL could also be liable for the actions of the driver. The driver’s future employment might also be impacted.
- Some states require mandatory jail time — even for a first offense — as well as fees and fines.
- You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car; if it detects alcohol, it will prevent you from operating the vehicle.
- A single drunk driving conviction may lead to job loss or restrictions (i.e., operating company vehicles).
- Higher insurance rates almost always accompany drunk driving convictions.
- If you were involved in an accident as a result of drunk driving, your insurance may deny payment for injury treatment.
How can you detect drunk drivers?
Law enforcement officials say there are several signs associated with drinking and driving. Keeping these in mind will help avoid a dangerous situation:
- Making wide turns
- Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving at a very slow speed
- Stopping without cause
- Braking erratically
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving after dark with headlights off
How can you stop drinking and driving?
Always make good decisions and plan ahead. Here are some solutions to avoid drunk driving:
- Always choose a non-drinking designated driver — every time you go out.
- If you go out alone, do not drink alcohol. Order a non-alcoholic beverage such as a soft drink or water.
- Never feel pressured to drink alcohol. If you do plan on drinking, do so responsibly. Eat plenty of food and drink water.
- If you've been drinking, call a taxi or car-sharing service for a ride, like Uber or Lyft.
- Never get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.
- Protect others by taking their keys if they attempt to drive after consuming alcohol. They may be mad at you, but the alternative is much worse.