How to Avoid the Minefields of Military Justice – Issue 2 – Alcohol – Have a Plan

Alcohol – Have a Plan

Alcohol seems to be the root of all evils in the military. Is it though? I don’t know. There are always those individuals who just can’t handle their liquor. Alcohol permeates all military social functions. Grogs, shot contests, and bars are all commonplace for dining outs, military balls, retirements, and PCS celebrations.

Alcohol is a tough one. Some service members just like it. A lot of folks are peer pressured into drinking it. Other service members don’t even realize they are being peer pressured into drinking and just roll with it. Culture is peer pressure of its own. You show up at a military ball, the open bar is available, and everyone is socializing and drinking. You go into the ball, you sit down, you have at least 10 toasts to the Army and its grandness.

It is not just military functions that promote drinking, either. After a hard day’s work, the best way to unwind with your peers is to go to the local bar and have a cold one. Friday and Saturday nights for single Soldiers are rough. Many single Soldiers hang out together at the plethora of clubs and establishments available in most military towns. It is the military culture.

So, how do you overcome it?

Making Your Alcohol Exit Plan & Sticking to It

  1. Know your limits.
  2. Know your environment.
  3. Know, understand, and establish a safety net.

It’s simple. Don’t drink and drive. It does not matter where you are stationed, CONUS or OCONUS, every military base has a network of taxies available for use. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, it is even easier to arrive safely to your destination after a night of drinking.

Additionally, everyone has that one buddy or girlfriend in their group that abstains from alcohol due to religious reasons or personal preference. Make friends with them. What am I driving at? Have a plan! Designate a driver to get you home safely. Choose from Uber, Lyft, a taxi service, or a friend to get you home before you dive into your drinks.

Lastly, choose your group of friends you are drinking with wisely. Make sure they are individuals that would have your back and not let you walk into any kind of trouble. The kinds of trouble you can find yourself is wide-ranging. The effects of this potential trouble can be career altering, if not life-altering. The trouble I am speaking of will be the subject of my next few blog entries, so you are going to want to check back soon to see those, too.

Bottom line: Have a plan to get home, and make sure you are hanging with good people when you are enjoying alcohol, on and off base.

Did you get into trouble after a night of drinking? If you are facing court-martial or military criminal charges because of it, I can help. I have personally been there to defend the rights of service members stationed around the world and serving in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. No matter the details of the situation you are facing now, I am confident I can assist you and protect your reputation, name, and status in the military. Call my firm at (888) 616-6177 to begin or use an online contact form if that is more convenient for you.