Saturday, August 26, 2006

Do You Remember Sun Down's DWI Policy?


You may have heard Ben Franklin’s quote, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Back in the United States Air Force, prior to today’s Whimp Rearing TIME-OUT philosophy (crying out loud, I can’t take it, I need a break), we had wall-to-wall counseling (physical threats and abuse), and Colonel Sun Downs Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) funeral procession (conviction, embarrassment and guilt was the cure), in response to drinking and driving.

You are most likely wondering, “What in the world is this DWI/DUI funeral procession?”

Colonel Sun Down was the Base Commander of Royal Air Force Station (RAF) Fairford, England in the 1980’s. Sun Down had some awesome policies to keep the troops in line. The most memorable was the screw-up and you are out processed and off the base by sun down. However, Sun Down’s funeral procession policy needs an immediate resurrection to help reduce the number of DWI offenses in the United States, especially in New Mexico.

Sun Down requested that Chilly Willy and I build a coffin for the base, which we did with pride. The coffin was used in a funeral procession with the Commander of the individual marching in full dress blues, out in front. The offending prosecuted individual, in possession of the DWI marched right behind the Commander, but in front of the coffin. Four of his/her unit peers carried the casket. The procession began at the front gate and ended at the individual’s Commander’s office. The coffin was on display in the Commander’s office for everyone to see, until the next offender claimed the procession and the coffin.

Here is the story. An Airman goes out drinking and then gets in a car and drives. During his/her temporary insanity, a policeman pulls him/her over and arrests him/her for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). This is where they experience “Double Jeopardy.” Double jeopardy is a civilian court proceeding (fines and imprisonment) and then a military court proceeding (loss of rank, fines, and imprisonment). Sounds fun! I hear music, listen, “Bad Boy, Bad Boy, Whatcha Gonna Do? Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?”

Here is whatcha gonna do. Sun Down is going to have a funeral procession for you, starting at the front gate! Your commander is going to remember you every day, isn’t that nice. In addition, a beautiful sign was posted by the coffin with the name and date of the guilty party displayed for all to see. The individual was famous.

Solution: Don’t Drink and Drive! Trust me; we had a very low DWI offense rate.

What do you mean it is cruel and unusual punishment? Some psychologists might disagree with this form of embarrassment and guilt, but I disagree with their disagreeing. The embarrassment of the consequence for this action was enough to encourage people like me to take public transportation everywhere we would go if we were drinking.

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