WIESBADEN, Germany -- The Christmas and New Year's holiday season is a time when many people consume more alcohol than usual, so German polizei and U.S. military police will be increasing traffic checkpoints to catch drunk drivers.

"Drinking and driving are two of the major risk factors that drivers should keep in mind during the holiday period," said Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Cieslewski, provost sergeant major at the USAREUR Office of the Provost Marshal.

Cieslewski stressed that European laws are generally stricter than American laws. The easiest way to remember the major difference is that two drinks are going to put a person of average build at or above the legal blood alcohol limit.

"I think many Soldiers underestimate the alcohol strength of the beer and liquor in Europe, and pay the price for that miscalculation when the police stop them," the sergeant major said.

Questionnaires show that most USAREUR personnel apprehended for drunk driving in Europe mistakenly thought they were not under the influence of alcohol.

Cieslewski advises people to think about how they are going to get back home after a night on the town before they leave home. "Designated drivers, unit-sponsored rides, taxis and public transportation are all good ways to get home safely," he said.

Page last updated Tue December 10th, 2013 at 00:00