Starting Jan. 1, Marines at Camp Pendleton and other bases will be subject to random Breathalyzer tests twice a year under what is billed as the toughest anti-drinking policy in the U.S. military.
An order issued by Lt. Gen. R.E. Milstead Jr., deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, calls for any Marine or sailor with a blood-alcohol level of 0.01% or higher to be referred for counseling. Any Marine or sailor who tests at 0.04% or higher will be referred to medical personnel to determine his or her fitness for duty.
Milstead said that although the new order "is primarily for deterrence and education," nothing precludes commanders from handing out punishment. Each unit will have an officer or staff noncommissioned officer to act as the alcohol screening program coordinator.