Military DUI Penalties

Military DUI Penalties

While in the United States military, the standards in regards to criminal charges are often significantly stricter, especially due to the heightened stakes of the crime. In particular, DUI charges warrant more direct sentences that can ruin a career if an individual is a member of the armed forces compared to civilians. In addition to military charges brought down from a military court, an individual can face charges from a civilian court if jurisdictions sufficiently provide for cooperation.

Depending on the circumstances of the incident, one common result of a DUI charge is immediate dishonorable discharge from the branch of the military that person is serving in. Considering that communication and past history can bar someone from becoming a member of a certain branch of the military, this can mean that a military career is effectively terminated entirely due to a single DUI charge.

A less stringent option that military courts can use is to freeze or pause the offender’s rank, as well as demoting them. While this does not mean that the soldier is banned from military action altogether, they are not allowed to progress any further in their career due to their criminal record. This penalty additionally translates to a cut or stop in pay increases, as higher pay is generally the result of a higher rank.

Other penalties specifically attached to military DUI punishments can include an order to revoke special clearances or privileges. In particular, secret or sensitive information may not be shared with an individual, despite their rank or abilities, due to their criminal past. This can make activity in certain operations impossible for soldiers with a DUI charge in their past, as they are not permitted to be included in top secret briefings.

For more information regarding military and civilian jurisdictions and how this can affect DUI charges, contact a DUI attorney.