Defending Those Who Defend Us®
  • Military DUI Defense

    Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is always dangerous and should be avoided no matter your station in life. If you are caught and convicted of driving in an impaired state, you will face very serious penalties from both the civilian side and military justice system.

    MJA has successfully defended service members charged with serious alcohol related offenses, including DUI. Contact one of our military defense lawyers today to learn more.

    Article 113, UCMJ (Drunken/Reckless Operational of a Vehicle etc.)

    Article 113, UCMJ prohibits the drunken or reckless operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel. To be guilty of this offense, it must be proven:

    • That the accused was operating or in physical control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel; and
    • That while operating or in physical control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, the accused–
      • did so in a wanton or reckless manner; or
      • was drunk or impaired; or
      • the alcohol concentration in the accused’s blood or breath equaled or exceeded the applicable limit.

    Typically, the alcohol concentration in a service member’s blood or breath may not exceed 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. However, service members stationed in areas with lower permissible blood alcohol content levels should expect to be held to the DUI laws of that location.

    Potential Penalties

    Whether your case is handled primarily in civil court or through the military, there is no doubt that your commanding officer is going to hear about it. When this happens, commander can impose a variety of  punishments against you. Some of the most common penalties may include:

    • Bar from reenlistment;
    • Reduction in rank and/or forfeitures at Article 15 (Nonjudicial) Punishment;
    • Letter of reprimand, counseling, or GOMOR;
    • Revocation of leave privileges;
    • Required substance abuse evaluation and treatment;
    • Additional corrective training;
    • Adverse NCOER / adverse fitness report;
    • Relief or suspension from duty;
    • Chapter Board / Involuntary Separation Processing; or
    • Court-Martial.

    Common results from DUI cases can include fines, revocation of a drivers’ license, community service, reform programs and jail time—not to mention the tarnishing of your reputation and military career.

    Location of Arrest

    Service members arrested for DUI can face criminal charges in either a civilian or military court. One thing that will impact how your charges will be treated is the location of your arrest. If you are arrested off base, your case will almost certainly be heard by the civilian courts. When stopped by military police on base, however, the case will likely be handled by a military prosecutor.

    Either way, you are at risk of having penalties from both the civilian and military justice system.  If you are convicted or plead guilty to DUI in civilian court, your command could, and usually does, use such convictions as a basis or grounds for a later discharge board.

    Have a Plan

    To avoid a DUI, it’s essential that you have a plan and execute it. Be sure to mind your intake, opt for a designated driver or taxi, and avoid myths about drinking coffee or taking a cold shower in order to sober up before getting behind the wheel.

    Protect Your Freedom and Your Military Career

    If you have been charged with a DUI, a civilian military lawyer can be your most valuable resource when summoned before a court-martial or military board. Remember, a charge is not the same as a conviction, and with proper military legal counsel, you can have peace of mind in knowing that the facts of your story will be heard and organized in a way that best represents you and your case. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, contact Military Justice Attorneys today.