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Navy to begin breath testing sailors

Jan. 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Navy sailors will have their breath tested beginning in February in a drive to reduce alcohol abuse, fleet officials said in a joint statement.

Breathalyzer testing will begin Feb. 4, with all service members being tested by May, the Navy Times reported.

In a statement issued by both Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet, Adm. Bill Gortney and Adm. Cecil Haney said, "We must educate service members on the responsible use of alcohol and deter alcohol abuse in the fleet, in home part and on deployment."

Service members who report to duty drunk "place themselves, their shipmates and our equipment at risk," they wrote Tuesday.

A pilot program was conducted last year and was expected to be roll out fleetwide before 2013.

The move was announced in March 2012 to curb binge drinking in the fleet.

The testing will be non-punitive. Policies and procedures for the program were expected to be released shortly.

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