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Navy to begin random alcohol tests for sailors

Wednesday - 1/23/2013, 4:34pm  ET

Associated Press

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy will start subjecting its sailors in the United States to random blood-alcohol tests starting next month.

The Navy says any sailor whose blood-alcohol level is .04 or higher when reporting for duty won't be allowed to work. In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a driver with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol is considered drunk.

The Navy outlined its policy for conducting the tests throughout the fleet on Wednesday. A pilot program was conducted among 13 commands this past summer. By May, nearly 2,000 commands will have handheld alcohol-detection devices.

The Navy says a positive test result won't be used to punish sailors, but they could be used to refer them to counseling.

However, sailors who refuse to submit to a test could face disciplinary action.

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Tags: navy