Marines Face Random Alcohol Tests

And even a 0.1% result requires counseling
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2012 3:30 PM CST
Marines salute prior to a medal-presentation ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in May.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mark Rightmire)

(Newser) – The Marines have adopted what sounds like a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol. Beginning next month, all members of the Corps must undergo random Breathalyzer tests twice a year, reports the Los Angeles Times. Those who blow a .01% or higher—that's possible after a single drink—get referred for counseling, and .04% requires a visit to medical personnel to determine whether they're fit for duty.

No other branch of the military has random mandatory tests, reports the Washington Times. The standards are much tougher than those faced by drivers in most of the US, with .08% the typical limit. The move follows a Pentagon study in September that found binge drinking to be on the rise throughout the military. Its authors recommended regular screening of troops. (Read more Marines stories.)

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