Sailors to Face Random Alcohol Tests: Navy
Positive results could prompt counseling
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 24, 2013 2:29 AM CST
In this Oct. 12, 2012 photo, sailors participate in M4 rifle small arms certification on the flight deck onboard the USS Underwood in international waters near Panama.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

(Newser) – The Navy is growing increasingly worried about alcohol use in the ranks, prompting random testing starting next month, the AP reports. The Navy announced the plan shortly after the Marines announced a similar action. Leaders aren't aiming to wipe alcohol completely from Naval culture; rather, they want to be sure it's being used responsibly. Sailors who arrive for duty with a blood alcohol level of .04% or higher will be barred from work.

But the program won't focus on punishment; instead, those who show a blood alcohol level of .02% or higher could be referred to counseling. The tests seek to increase safety and prevent an "incident" from occurring "due to the irresponsible use of alcohol," says a Navy official. Alcohol has been associated with military suicides and sexual assault, the AP notes. Out of some 7,500 sailors, 87 tested positive for alcohol last summer, which shows that "the vast majority" of sailors use alcohol responsibly, says a commander.

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Jan 24, 2013 9:37 AM CST
So that's why the submarine lost it's periscope when a fishing trawler ran over it and that's why the navy ship got stuck on the coral reef in the Philipines.
Jan 24, 2013 6:11 AM CST
Let's put that same logic to gun owners. The ratio of LEGAL irresponsible gun owners to those who are responsible is, on a daily basis, is less than 1 in 300,000,000. One intoxicated sailor can kill dozens of his fellow sailors. That's happened many times in a gun battery or on a flight deck, you just never hear about it.
Jan 24, 2013 5:30 AM CST
Re-up for the bennies