DVIDS – News – Marines and Naha City Police Department collaborate with DUI training

NAHA, OKINAWA, Japan – Marines with Provost Marshal’s Office, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific and police officers from the Naha Police Department organized a DUI training event with a wet lab at Naminoue Driving School on July 15.

During a wet lab, participants consume enough alcohol to register as over the legal blood alcohol content limit for driving, then each participant drives a vehicle in a controlled environment where police officers observe their habits and behaviors. During this four-hour event, Marines and local law enforcement observed, tested, and recorded participants’ reaction times and driving abilities before and after the wet lab for comparison.

“It was an eye-opening experience to see how alcohol affects everyone differently because most individuals assume drunken drivers are super cautious,” said Cpl. Kylie Lafi, an accident investigator with PMO, H&S Bn, MCIPAC. “People tend to forget there are also intoxicated drivers who are overly confident who will drive more aggressively on the road.”

She explained that drunken drivers are either overconfident or overcautious. Overconfident drivers drive at reckless speeds and make abrupt maneuvers. Overcautious drivers will drive slowly and make longer stops. Lafi said that three of the four drivers were overly cautious, and the remaining driver was overly confident.

“I chose to volunteer for this event because as an accident investigator, I only see the aftermath of accidents,” said Lafi. “I wanted to observe firsthand what it was like to be in a vehicle with a drunken driver.”

Naha police officers and Marines observed from the side of the obstacle course and also from the back seats of cars driven by drunken participants. This training was especially beneficial for patrolling purposes to identify and pull drunken drivers off the road before incidents occur. Major vehicle accidents involving intoxicated drivers usually result from veering into another lane or failing to obey yield signs.

The training helped Marines and local law enforcement safely and accurately observe drunken driving behavior. In addition, this training also tightens the partnership between all individuals who will work together in the future.

“We work with local law enforcement all the time,” said Lafi. “Communicating with them and seeing how they work, allows us to strengthen our relationship with the local community.”

Lafi stated that joint training events with local law enforcement are great experiences for both sides and allow them to connect with each other on a personal level. She said that through this training, the Marines and local law enforcement established good reputations among each other through sharing ideas and working together.

“The main reason that the Japanese police organized this event with PMO was to encourage safe driving among local residents, Status of Forces Agreement members, and Marines,” said Yuki Matsumoto, an accident investigator and interpreter with PMO, H&S Bn, MCIPAC. “Despite any language barriers, this event allows us to share our values ​​and spread many years of knowledge and experience to both sides.”

Matsumoto explained that by involving both parties, PMO and local police officers can collaborate to mitigate problems that occur among SOFA members and local residents.

“All personnel showed great interest and initiative during the event,” said Matsumoto. “Naha Police Department and Naminoue Driving School personnel have expressed an optimistic future and hope to organize more training events involving Marines with PMO.”

The event concluded with a final brief and closing statements. No accidents or injuries occurred during the wet lab, and the Naha Police Department looks forward to working and organizing events with Marines in the future.

Date Taken:07.15.2022
Date Posted:07.27.2022 23:13
Story ID:425686

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