The U.S. Navy will begin conducting random blood-alcohol tests on sailors in the United States in February, the Associated Press reports. The Navy will use the tests, which were announced earlier this year, to determine whether a sailor is fit for duty, or may need counseling.
Sailors whose blood-alcohol level is .04 or higher when they report for duty will not be allowed to work. A reading of .02 or higher will not be used to punish sailors, but could be used to refer them to a substance abuse treatment program.
The Navy will begin distributing hand-held alcohol detection devices (ADD) to Navy commands in February. The devices should distributed throughout the Navy by the end of May.
“Deterring irresponsible use of alcohol is essential to the readiness of our fleet and ensuring the health and safety of our service members and units,” Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, said in a statement. “Fleet Forces, in partnership with Pacific Fleet, will remain engaged in providing service members the tools and resources to make these responsible choices. The ADD is one of many tools commanders have to educate service members.”
The Marines will carry out their own random alcohol screening, according to the AP.