Authorities Work To Curb DUIs Involving Military

SD Sheriffs Deputies, CHP, Holding Presentations At Local Bases

The U.S. military is turning to presentations by local law enforcement to help save the lives of its service members.

Dozens of military service members have been killed or injured in crashes on San Diego-area highways in the past three years. Some of those crashes were alcohol-related, while speeding played a role in others. Motorcycle crashes alone have killed more than 80 Marines and sailors since 2008.

Many of those crashes happened shortly after they came home from deployments.

That's why local military leaders have turned to local law enforcement for help. For the past few years, San Diego County Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers have given stand-down presentations for service members that are far more graphic than anything seen in driver's education classes.

"We're really trying to be proactive at looking at the Marines coming back," said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Adam Pezdek.

10News was recently invited to attend one of the presentations at MCAS Miramar.

In the presentation, sheriff's deputies discussed everything from drinking and driving to speeding. They also showed graphic videos and pictures of accident scenes.

"It is effective and the word has been spreading throughout the military community," said Deputy Rob Siegfried, who led the presentation.

According to the U.S. Navy, alcohol-related incidents have decreased 50 percent since local law enforcement began giving presentations on local bases. Military leaders said they're pleased with the results so far because they want their service members to be safe on base and off.

"We're part of the community, too, so yes, we have the community's best interest in mind, just as well as ours," said Pezdek.

Siegfried added, "[We want them to just] keep an eye out for one another once they come back and they celebrate their return to San Diego… I give all the credit in the world to the military for stepping forward and asking for our assistance in this."

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