Marine Corps Limiting Liquor Sales on Bases


SAN DIEGO -- The Marine Corps is preparing to limit alcohol sales on base, following in the footsteps of a Navy effort designed to reduce alcohol-related crimes and misbehavior.

The Marine Corps will stop sales of liquor at Marine Marts adjacent to barracks, will restrict sales of alcohol at Marine Corps exchanges to the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., will limit to 10 percent the amount of retail floor space that can be devoted to alcohol sales in stores that are not designated as package stores, and will limit alcohol promotions and marketing on base, according to a memo provided to Stars and Stripes. The memo has only been distributed to installation commanders and Marine Corps Community Services directors while implementation is worked out, and has not been published yet.

The new rules will help "encourage healthy lifestyles for Marines and their families" and help reinforce current alcohol sales limits and alcohol abuse prevention policies, according to the memo.

The Navy began instituting similar rules starting in July. At the time, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said that when the Navy began looking at the service's sexual assault statistics, officials noted that 60 percent to 70 percent of reported sexual assaults involved alcohol. That prompted Navy officials to examine the culture of alcohol on bases, and Greenert said they noticed that some mini-marts were selling alcohol until midnight or later, and in some cases starting very early in the morning.

The availability of alcohol seemed out of line, Greenert said, and did not seem to be sending the right message.

"They're responsible people, but we don't need to be pushing this or perceiving to push it," Greenert said.

In January, the Marine Corps began a random breathalyzer program to stop underage drinking and prevent Marines reporting to work drunk.

The efforts in the Navy and Marine Corps also include more alcohol-related training for Marines and sailors.

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