DUI and the Military

Alcohol DUI MilitaryA DUI conviction can be severely damaging to a person’s reputation and career prospects. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can negatively impact one’s freedom, college opportunities, and career advancement. When a person is facing a DUI conviction as military personnel, the results are likely to be more drastic and devastating. And, for someone who is dealing with a DUI conviction as a potential recruit, dreams of joining the military may be dashed forever.

The United States military handles DUIs in a severe manner across the board. The military looks at DUI arrests and convictions with the utmost seriousness and military personnel convicted of a DUI may face dishonorable discharge, imprisonment, pay reductions, suspended driving privileges while on base, and various other penalties.  When dealing with a DUI and the military, the offender faces a judge in military court. While DUI cases may be lengthy in a civilian court, military courts move cases along more quickly and, usually, more severely.

Any member of the military who is facing DUI charges is encouraged to seek a military DUI attorney.  A regular DUI attorney will not know the specific laws and procedures of military courts, but a military DUI attorney will. Since military court judges can be so heavy-handed when ruling against DUI offenders and military DUI attorneys know and understand this, special attention is called for. Even as a potential military recruit, there is little tolerance shown to DUI convictions. If a person is still dealing with the consequences of a DUI conviction or is under probation, it is generally considered useless to attempt recruitment.

What sets apart civilian and military DUI convictions, besides the military court aspect, is the opinion the military may take about DUIs. The military considers any amount of alcohol that impairs one’s ability to operate a vehicle to be dangerous. Even if the person facing the charges had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than .08, the military considers the charge unacceptable.  When a person becomes a member of the military, the person has signed up to follow the rules of the military. Therefore, military rules take precedence over civilian rules when we discuss DUI and the military.

While it is never safe to drink and drive, doing so as a member of the United States military is asking for more trouble than it’s worth.  A DUI conviction as military personnel sets a person up for an end to military career as well as difficulty in the civil arena. Such a conviction is one that may be extremely difficult to recover from and this is true even for military recruits. The United States military does not take DUIs lightly and neither should any of us.

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