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Remember AADD during holidays

Airmen Against Drunk Driving saves lives. Call AADD if your plan falls through: 720-847-7433. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

Airmen Against Drunk Driving saves lives. Call AADD if your plan falls through: 720-847-7433. (U.S. Air Force illustration)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Holiday cheer is sometimes associated with eggnog and other alcoholic drinks. With the holiday seasons approaching, the last thing anybody should do after drinking is get behind a wheel of a car.

Airmen Against Drunk Driving shouldn't be the first option if one chooses to go out for a few drinks. When plans A and B fail, AADD is there as an alternative, said Airman 1st Class Devonte Speller, AADD president and 460th Medical Support Squadron member.

"What makes it so much more difficult during the holiday season (is that) a lot of our dedicated volunteers are normally going on leave. So it's a slight increase in people using it and a decrease in volunteers," Speller said.

There are typically three to four drivers on standby, rotating every couple weeks.

Speller joined the organization more than a year ago. Of all the organizations on base, he felt this one was an absolute necessity, he said. He believed in having a service that offers a free, confidential and safe ride home when someone or a group drinks too much.

There's also a sense of satisfaction by ensuring someone got home safe because it could have turned into a DUI, an accident and possibly saved that someone their career, said Speller.

Airman 1st Class Carlos Gomez, AADD secretary and 460th Civil Engineer Squadron member, said he isn't always thrilled to be awoken at 2 a.m., but getting someone home safely pays off.

Both Airmen said everyone they took home safely was very thankful and the whole ordeal is very gratifying.

"I think everyone should at least once volunteer for AADD. (It's) definitely a volunteer opportunity that you actually see the affect that you have," Speller said.

For those who don't know how AADD operates, it's simple. People whose initial plans for a designated driver fail can call 720-847-RIDE between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. seven days a week. The AADD dispatcher gets the location, party size and a visual description of those needing a ride. The dispatcher then calls an AADD volunteer driver with the details. The AADD volunteer then calls the requester with an estimated time of arrival and takes the group or individual home safely.

For those interested in volunteering, email Airman 1st Class Devonte Speller at devonte.speller@us.af.mil.
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