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Marine Corps Enforces Breathalyzer Tests

Camp Pendleton -- As of Jan. 1, Marines and sailors found to have a blood alcohol content of .01 percent or higher during regular working hours will be subject to counsel, and treatment and those with a BAC of .04 percent or higher will undergo a fit-for-duty assessment and further corrective action.

Marine Administrative Message 709/12 provides guidelines for the Alcohol Screening Program, an initiative focused on preventing alcohol abuse.

“It’s important to get back to the basics and remind Marines that alcohol is not something that we use on a daily basis, and it’s inappropriate to come to work under the influence,” said Sgt. Tamara Kimbell, the assistant substance abuse control officer for Headquarters and Support Battalion here.

According to the MARADMIN, Marines and sailors may receive random breathalyzer tests semi-annually, similar to the  urinalysis screenings conducted as a part of the Marine Corps’ zero tolerance policy on drug use.

“There are more Marines getting into trouble for alcohol related incidences at the barracks as well as domestic violence issues due to alcohol,” Kimbell said.

Kimbell said the Marines and sailors found to be dealing with alcohol abuse and dependency will be referred to a Substance Abuse Counseling Center to receive education and prevention services like Prime for Life and outpatient treatment.

Although the ASP is meant to be a deterrent, commands retain the ability to render additional administrative reprimand to alcohol abusers like a non-recommendation for promotion and/or a non-judicial punishment.

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