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QM2 (SW) Robert hicks.

MY CAREER WAS GOING WELL. My peers and other junior Sailors regarded me highly. That changed last December 4, just two days after finding out I'd been selected for advancement to QM1.

I went to our command Christmas party at an off-base hotel, staying until 2230. Then I walked onto the base, got in my vehicle and started to drive off the base. I got stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and was arrested for a DWI.

At the base police station, my BAC was 0.09. After being there for a couple of hours, my LCPO came to pick me up. We went back to our work center, and someone called my wife to pick me up. All of a sudden my world had dropped from under me because of my stupid decision.

If only I had just stopped, adjusted my thoughts, made the choice not to drive, and called someone for help.

There is not a day or night that goes by that I don't think about what happened and the impact that it has had on my family.

Know your options and choose wisely before your judgment is clouded. The next time you have a few drinks and reach for your keys, ask yourself, "Is this choice going to affect my command, the Navy, my shipmates, my career and my family?"

I'm still worried about my fate at NJP, and believe me, you don't want that feeling. Having no idea what is going to happen to your Navy career -- or whether you're going to continue to have one -- is nerve-wracking, trying to figure out how to take care of your family, how to pay your bills, what to do next, where to live, and how you'll get by.

The Cost: Loss of advancement. Loss of on-base driving privileges for two years. Car insurance rate hike. Probably loss of state driver's license. NJP pending.
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Title Annotation:MY DUI
Article Type:Travel narrative
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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