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Critical Days of Summer: Drinking and driving

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A totaled vehicle display at the intersection of California Boulevard and Utah Avenue kicks-off the Critical Days of Summer campaign here Monday, June 6, 2011. This is a visual reminder for Team V members of the dangers of drinking and driving. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jennifer Green)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A totaled vehicle display at the intersection of California Boulevard and Utah Avenue kicks-off the Critical Days of Summer campaign here Monday, June 6, 2011. This is a visual reminder for Team V members of the dangers of drinking and driving. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jennifer Green)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Space Wing Safety Office here continues the Critical Days of Summer campaign, which runs until Sept. 6, with a reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving.

A totaled vehicle, placed on the corner of California Boulevard and Utah Avenue, is a visual reminder of what could happen when a night of drinking takes a turn for the worst.

"Hearing stories doesn't always have a true impact," said Mike Trudeau, a 30th SW safety specialist. "Actually seeing the carnage will hopefully stimulate thoughts of what it must have been like to be inside the vehicle."

According to the 30th SW Safety Office, 36 people die in the U.S. everyday as a result of alcohol-impaired driving. This amounts to one death every 40 minutes.

"Responsible drinking means that you never have to feel sorry for what has happened while you were drinking," said Trudeau. "Make sure that drinking improves social relationships rather than impairs them."

Since Jan. 1, four Vandenberg Air Force Base members have been arrested for driving under the influence.

"If you know that you will have to drive after consuming alcohol, limit your consumption to no more than one drink an hour," said Trudeau.

As well as the placement of the vehicle off California Boulevard, the message of the serious consequences that come with the choice to drink and drive was relayed at the Save a Life Tour here in late May.

"For some, that message will dissipate quickly and poor choices will continue to be made. For others, the message hit home and any 'non-believers' got a harsh reminder that drinking and driving just don't mix," said Trudeau.

"You have a decision to make: get behind the wheel or call a wingman for help," said Trudeau. "Hopefully, you make the right one."