Mother shares story, educates about drunk driving

Marine Corps Base Hawaii
Story by Lance Cpl. Nathan Knapke

Date: 04.05.2013
Posted: 04.12.2013 17:08
News ID: 105123
Mother shares story, educates about drunk driving

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Marines and sailors attended a Mothers Against Drunk Driving presentation at Kahuna’s Community Ballroom, April 5.

The presentation included many topics and statistics on drinking and driving. Much of the information was brought to light for Marines to hear and understand. In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 were riding with the drunk driver.

Jonathan Barkley, a retired Marine and an alcohol and drug advocate, stressed to Marines and sailors about the amount of alcohol that can be consumed to keep the drinker at a low risk level of doing something they will regret.

“To stay at a low risk level, someone who doesn’t drink every day should not exceed more than three standard drinks in a 24-hour time period,” Barkley said. “But someone who drinks every day cannot surpass more than two drinks a day. In any situation the person can’t surpass more than 14 standard drinks in one week. A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 10 ounces of micro-brewed beer, 4 ounces of wine, 10 ounces of wine cooler, one ounce of 100 proof alcohol, 1.25 ounces of 80 proof alcohol, all of which contain the same amount of alcohol. Remember, there is no situation when someone can exceed 14 standard drinks in one week.”

Barkley calls having the two or three drinks a day the paw-rule. He continued to stress these numbers are scientifically proven by the Prime for Life program. Any alcohol consumption past three drinks in one day has detrimental short and long-term effects to someone’s health.

Any consumption over these guidelines is considered to be binge drinking. These statistics and numbers were explained so Marines can minimize the risk level of doing something they would regret, for example, drinking and driving.

When people decide to drink and drive, they put lives into harm’s way. Adults and children die every year from people getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization that works to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge to the victim.

Theresa Paulette, MADD Hawaii Victim Committee Chair, told her story about her 15-year-old son, who was driving a moped near their Kaneohe home and was killed by a truck driver who had six prior drunk driving arrests.

Paulette shared her son’s story in hopes to bring awareness to the devastation of drunk driving.

“Everyone thinks they will never be a victim of drunk driving until it happens to them,” said Paulette. “It’s important to spread the world to friends and family on the importance of stopping.”

She wants to help make every road safe for people, so everyone can live out their hopes and dreams.

“This has definitely opened the eyes of every Marine and sailor here today,” said Sgt. Ryan Tibbs, a cyber-security technician with Headquarters Battalion, and native of Broadview Heights, Ohio. “The whole presentation has taught Marines and sailors a lot about the effects of drinking and driving. It will definitely make people rethink what happens when they drink too much and the choices they could make when drinking over the correct amount.”