Local News

Fort Bragg restricts alcohol sales

Posted July 25, 2009 12:37 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2009 4:51 p.m. EDT

— Alcohol sales at Fort Bragg will be prohibited during early-morning hours starting Aug. 1 as part of an initiative to prevent suicides and improve health, according to base officials.

Alcohol will not be sold at on-base facilities from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, alcohol will not be sold before noon.

Sales to soldiers who appear to be intoxicated will also be banned, and employees selling alcohol will undergo extra training. The amount of alcohol a soldier can buy will not be restricted.

“Alcohol use is one of the risk factors that has contributed to suicides, traffic accidents, physical and sexual abuse, severe injuries, health problems and a myriad of other negative consequences,” Col. Billy J. Buckner, a public affairs officer with the XVIII Airborne Corps, told Fort Bragg's newspaper, The Paraglide.

“While Fort Bragg’s overall alcohol-related incidents have remained fairly stable during the past six years, Fort Bragg leadership believes this policy change is right and in the best interest of our soldiers and their families," Buckner said.

More than a third of patients at Womack Army Medical Center in 2008 had high blood alcohol content levels, said hospital commander Col. Jadja West. Alcohol played a role in half of suicides since 2008.

Funding could decrease for Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreations programs, which alcohol sales help support.

“The policy change is not about money, but the health and welfare of the military family,” Buckner said.