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Navy to require breathalyzer tests for sailors

Monday - 3/5/2012, 4:18pm  ET

Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy will soon begin giving breathalyzer tests to many of its sailors before they report to work aboard a ship.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus unveiled the program Monday during a rare "all hands" call aboard the USS Bataan at Naval Station Norfolk. Mabus' comments were broadcast to sailors and Marines around the world.

Sailors will also be given random drug tests to check for the use of synthetic marijuana.

The tests are part of Mabus' 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative. The initiative focuses on reducing alcohol abuse, sexual assaults and improving the well-being of sailors and Marines.

Among other things, it also eliminates discounts on cigarettes sold at Navy and Marine Corps exchanges. Typically, cigarettes are sold at exchanges for 5 percent less than they cost off base.

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