By Rob Schuette,
The Real McCoy Staff
from Fort McCoy’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) are
helping to test the newest technology and leading the way to help the
rest of the state realize the dangers of drinking and driving.
Staff Sgt. Myron Green (seated) of HHC
gets ready to test drive the SIDNE, under the watchful
observation of unit prevention leader personnel Staff Sgt.
Milicent Sutters (left) and Capt. Neil Hogie. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
Pedersen, the Fort McCoy Army Alcohol and Drug Control officer for the
Directorate of Human Resources/Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare
and Recreation, said the installation is the first Wisconsin
organization to obtain a SIDNE (pronounced like the name Sidney), a
Simulated Impaired DriviNg Experience. A SIDNE is a battery-powered
vehicle that simulates the effects of alcohol or other drugs on a
motorist’s driving skills and reaction time.
vehicle, which looks like a modified go-cart, and a driving course
were set up outside of McCoy’s Sept. 24-25 to let military personnel
see their reactions during impaired driving, Pedersen said. It also
let other personnel driving past see the effects of impaired driving.
giving the personnel who use it two trips around the course,"
Pedersen said. "The first time is a normal drive to let them get
used to the equipment. The second replicates driving in an impaired
condition. They (drivers) have a delayed reaction trying to respond to
an obstruction in a timely manner or being faced with crashing into
HHC motorists drove the vehicle, which has a top speed of about 12
mph, around the course.
driving arrest can lead to 1-year suspension of post driving
of the Fort Mc-Coy work force who are arrested for drunk driving
— on or off post — can lose their installation driving
privileges for one year, according to the Fort McCoy
Installation Legal Office (ILO).
Eric Teegarden, an ILO attorney, said being arrested for drunk
driving also can affect driving privileges off post and military
personnel arrested for drunk driving on Fort McCoy by Fort McCoy
police will be issued a ticket to appear in federal court in
driving privileges will be revoked for one year. Personnel can
request a hearing within 14 days of the suspension to plead
personnel arrested for drunk driving on Fort McCoy can face the
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), as well. For drunk
driving, the UCMJ is a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand
(GOMOR) that can go into a Soldier’s permanent record.
GOMOR can be an excellent means for a Soldier to stop worrying
about promotion to a higher grade," Teegarden said.
addition, the drunk driving offenses are reported to the
licensing agency where the individual has his or her civilian
license so it becomes part of that record as well.
same consequences apply to personnel in the Fort McCoy community
who are arrested for drunk driving off of the installation,
Monroe County Sheriff’s Department or the corresponding
ticketing law enforcement agency will issue the ticket or
in the Fort Mc-Coy community convicted of drunk driving on or
off Fort McCoy will face a one-year suspension of their driving
privileges on post.
the year is up, personnel may request reinstatement of their
driving privileges at Fort McCoy. Specific information on the
process is included in the letter notifying the offender of the
best advice I can give to Fort McCoy motorists is) Don’t drink
and drive!" Teegarden said.
information about drunk-driving consequences at Fort McCoy is
available by calling the ILO at (608) 388-2165, the Fort McCoy
Police Traffic Section at (608) 388-2044 (for all traffic
infractions) or by reviewing Army Regulation (Fort McCoy)
Regulation 190-5, the Installation Access Control and Traffic
"Offering this training ...is a good way to support the
Army Community Covenant by making driving safer at Fort McCoy
and in the surrounding communities."
Fort McCoy Army Alcohol and Drug Control officer
the equipment was put into the impaired mode and they tried to regain
control of the vehicle, a common refrain was "What
Neil Hogie, a unit prevention leader (UPL) for the HHC, appeared on
site shortly after the "crash" scenario or near-crash
scenario to conduct an After-Action Review with the hope drivers
realize they must have a safe plan on how to return home if they
decide to go out drinking. Drinking and driving is not a plan.
noted these mishaps are called crashes instead of accidents because
personnel involved in them likely would have avoided them if they
weren’t driving impaired.
crash is 100 percent avoidable; with a plan a drinker can avoid a
crash by not driving.
(so and so) is arresting you for suspicion of driving under the
influence," Hogie told one of the drivers. "One of these
(impaired driving) crashes may cost the drivers several thousands of
dollars — in attorney fees for court and relicensing costs, an
increased insurance rate, lost work time costs and employment
who do this can have their driving privileges suspended on the
installation for one year," he said. "These actions also may
threaten their career."
Sgt. Milicent Sutters, the HHC Supply Sergeant and alternate UPL for
HHC, said she and Hogie helped sponsor the training as part of the
duties to get personnel more motivated and aware of being impaired
because of alcohol.
helps our personnel to understand why they shouldn’t drink and
drive," Sutters said. "Many personnel would be embarrassed
to let other people know they were driving drunk. Some personnel think
they’re unstoppable and can take on anything, but they’re not, and
they can’t do that."
said the company that makes the SIDNE is located in Verona, Wis.,
which is near Madison.
company also makes the fatal vision goggles, which simulate the
effects of being drunk or impaired. The company noticed that personnel
were using the goggles with golf cart vehicles to replicate drunk
said this could be unsafe so the company designed the SIDNE vehicle
that can replicate the effects of impaired driving. The equipment
features instructor controls that can be used to override the student
controls, if necessary, and seat belts.
more information, visit the Web site http://www.fatalvision.com.
vehicle and training will be available, upon request, to every
organization or activity in the Fort McCoy community, including
a former educator, said he also plans to offer the training or use the
vehicle to demonstrate the effects of impaired driving in local
schools in Tomah or Sparta, which many of the children in the Fort
McCoy community attend.
has the highest rate of drunk driving in the nation," according
to a nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services released earlier this year, Pedersen said. "Offering
this training will hopefully help combat that trend and also is a good
way to support the Army Community Covenant to make driving safer at
Fort McCoy and in the surrounding communities."
more information or to schedule training, call Pedersen at (608)