GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — In the ongoing effort to reduce alcohol related incidents throughout the community, the Designated Driver Program was officially introduced July 9 at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.
The Designated Driver Program is a campaign related to the Alcohol Incident Reduction Initiative and is organized by the Army Substance Abuse Program in collaboration with the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
With the Designated Driver Program, a person can nominate themselves as the designated driver for their group at all on-post facilities that serve alcohol.
After they sign in as the designated driver, they will receive a wristband and will get free non-alcoholic beverages while at the facility.
Community members can identify participating facilities by signs in front of the facilities showing they support the Designated Driver Program.
According to Nicole Tazwell, Army Substance Abuse Program specialist, the purpose of the program is to encourage healthy behavior when it comes to drinking and to offer community members healthy choices when they are going out to drink.
The program’s goal is to decrease the number of incidents like drunk driving and other alcohol-related accidents across the installation.
The ongoing effort serves as a way to combat such behavior by modeling good behavior on the USAG Bavaria installations.
“Our hope is that people will take this program when they are going out to have a few drinks with friends, and that they think and plan ahead and have that designated driver as a backup plan to get home safely,” added Tazwell.
The Designated Driver Program officially kicked off at the signing of the Designated Driver Proclamation by Col. Adam J. Boyd, USAG Bavaria commander.
“DUI’s are a significant concern,” Boyd said at the signing ceremony. “We want to change that through education and prevention.”
The signed proclamation will also be postured at participating establishments throughout the community to show the support of the Garrison leadership for the program.
“It’s going to be the individual’s responsibility to make healthy choices and to have a backup plan. We are hoping that with this proclamation we start that conversation and that action for the healthy behavior,” said Melissa Kreitzer, community ready and resilient integrator.
According to Tazwell, the program is not introduced to tell people that no one should ever drink. Instead, it’s aim is to establish a healthy drinking culture across the installation.
“There is a popular saying: ‘If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.’ This can be related to a lot of different things, but specifically when we are talking about having a plan, it’s having a designated driver when you are going out and having a drink,” Tazwell added. “We want to encourage the Soldiers whether they go to on-post or off-post facilities to have the plan before they leave.”
Have a plan, be aware, and don’t drink and drive. If you, a family member, friend or battle buddy have a problem, contact the ASAP Office at DSN 569-7905, CIV 09641-70-569-7905.