DUI in the Military

If you were charged with a DUI while you were on- or off-installation, this will have very serious consequences. Depending on whether you were on-base or not, the punishments will range in severity and you may face judicial or non-judicial punishment. Because your career in the military could be on the line, you should seek a military defense lawyer today. They understand how this kind of conviction could impact your life and we want you to know that you don’t need to fight these charges alone and that you don’t need to use an attorney that was assigned to you. 

What happens if I am charged on-base?

If you are charged with a DUI while you are on-base, you would not expect to face the typical civilian penalties you would face if you were not on-base. Here, you would likely face penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). From here, you could expect:

  1. A Court-Martial. If you were recklessly operating a vehicle (or driving under the influence), you could be subjected to a court-martial. Depending on the state you were in when this happened, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) will be different, but you could receive a reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay, or even dishonorable discharge. 
  2. Article 15. Commanding officers have the right to determine if they want to use nonjudicial punishment in certain situations, and this may mean they give you a grade reduction, extra duty, an official reprimand, or other such punishments. 

What happens if I am charged off-base?

If you are off-base (or off-installation) it is possible that you would face both administrative and criminal action. The punishments you face will be even worse if you have past DUIs or driving convictions. 

  1. License Suspension. When you are pulled over for a DUI and you refuse to take the breath or blood alcohol test, the officer has the right to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. The time limit for suspension can vary, but it is also possible that your commanding officer will suspend any driving privileges you have on-installation as well.  
  2. Criminal Punishments. If convicted, you could also expect criminal punishments that civilians receive as well. This could mean jail time, fines, probation, and even community service. The severity of your punishment will depend on whether this was your first offense or if anyone was injured while you were driving under the influence. 
  3. Ignition Interlock System. You may also be subjected to having an ignition interlock system installed in your car that measures how much alcohol is on your breath before allowing you to drive. If it is above a certain amount, you will not be allowed to drive your car. 

If you are charged with a DUI on- or off-installation, you should speak with an attorney, like a military attorney in Camp Pendleton from The Federal Practice Group, to see how they can help you with these charges. Call a law office to see what they can do for you.