Military DUI: What to do for a DUI in the Armed Forces & How to Fight to Get Out of It

I Got Arrested for a DUI Charge While Serving in the Military, What Should I do?

Military DUIUpdated on 11/28/2018

What will happen if I am arrested and convicted of a DUI offense charge while serving in the military such as the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or National Guard? The quick legal action you take now to challenge and dismiss the DUI will make all the difference between an honorable or dishonorable discharge later in a military career.

With driving under the influence arrest charges for a military DUI offense, the penalties will likely be far more severe and life-altering than a typical civilian case, when a military service member is convicted for the same type of charges.

While a DUI case tried in the criminal court can carry on for several months, this same offense prosecuted by the Armed Forces will be typically proceed much faster.

As a recent story published in military news described in how a DUI forever changed a soldier’s career both in the professional and financial cost of the consequences, it is a harsh reminder of the reality of what can happen under the current military law and protocol. This is why it is so important to explore every possible option to fight and get a DUI or DWI charge dropped or dismissed, in order to help prevent this negative outcome and long-term stigma from ever happening in the first place. Since a drunk or drugged driving case will move quickly and result in severe life-altering penalties if convicted, this is why it is so crucial for any member of the military charged with a DUI offense gets help as soon as possible following an arrest.

However it is important to realize that not all DUI arrest charges will go to trial in criminal court. Some DUI and DWI cases can get dismissed due to lack of, or improperly collected evidence, and some charges can get plead down to a lesser offenses. Having your own specific DUI arrest events analyzed through us online, can help you determine what course of action is most appropriate for your particular situation based upon what took place.

Some common DUI defense examples are, not all arresting police officers will always have the necessary DUI training to properly conduct and interpret a roadside field sobriety test. In addition, breath test devices are not always accurate and can often be successfully challenged in court, and many times how a DUI blood test is collected or processed can be challenged as well. After an arrest can be thoroughly reviewed online through us by an expert DUI attorney nearest your location, they will discuss your best defense options with you and what to expect for how a DUI in the military will affect you based on your own unique circumstances.

Once they have examined all of your arrest information and discussed your case with you, they are there to make sure that all your rights are protected and that no mistakes or BAC testing procedural errors were made at any time during the course of the DUI or DWI arrest. They will challenge the accuracy of DUI breath and blood test evidence collected and will hold arresting officers accountable if it is found they may have violated a serviceman’s rights. Even though the consequences that will happen for military personnel charged with DUI are severe if they are convicted, the legal techniques and defenses used for ways to get out of a case are very much the same as civilian court.

We are also able to help get a special diversion of this charge for military personnel in many cases. However, the best chances of success is always at the early stages of a case, as soon as possible after a DUI arrest has taken place. This is the only way how certain penalties that take effect soon after a charge can still be prevented in enough time.

What are the Consequences to Expect to Happen for a DUI in the Military?

Listed below are some of the common penalties a person can expect if convicted of a driving under the influence offense arrest, which can also apply to members of the military.

  1. First time DUI offense convictions will on average carry a one-year suspension of driving privileges, a fine of not less than $1,200 on average, and now the new requirement under the law to install the Ignition Interlock device for a period of time in order to legally drive again.
  2. Second time DUI offense convictions generally carries a two-year driver’s license suspension, and potential jail time of up to 30 days on average, with an even longer length of time to be required having to drive with an Ignition Interlock installed on any vehicle an offender operates.
  3. Insurance premiums will often rise dramatically, in some cases to $7,000 per year.

Many servicemen we help often ask us “what should I do if I got a DUI in the military, and what punishment can I expect to happen?” When determining the best course of action of what to do for a Armed Forces DUI or DWI arrest charge offense, a person needs to first fully understand they will be facing severe consequences and know what the true cost of a drunk or drugged driving in the military is if convicted of the offense in court. This is because a person charged with driving under the influence while currently serving in the military will be facing both criminal charges and a driver’s license suspension, including military administrative penalties.

There is no substitute for staying informed about your case, and knowing what all your true defense options really are. With any lawyer you do eventually decide on hiring, it is essential to know what they are (or should be) actually doing for you.

Too many drivers are quick to write a check to an attorney, only to realize after the fact that the minimal effort was put forth in their case.

While there is never any guarantee for any criminal offense case, the more you know what to look out for in advance, the better your chances will be for winning in court and not getting taken advantage of by unreliable lawyers.

Average Cost of a Military DUI if Convicted or Pleading Guilty to the Offense

As recent Armed Forces news reports have covered about the true cost of a DUI for servicemen, it is essential to be aware of what will happen if convicted or a guilty plea is entered for this offense. When fighting DUI and DWI arrest charges, both your freedom and future with a military career are on the line. You should seek legal counsel with us from the best local military defense lawyer nearest you by having the details of your arrest reviewed online with us as soon as possible after being charged with a driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while serving on active duty. Beyond possible jail time, mandatory fines, and a driver’s license suspension, you could face other non-judicial punishments, or even face a court-martial. This means what you can expect to happen is facing anything from a reprimand to imprisonment and dishonorable discharge.

Please realize that a DUI arrest conviction is not automatic, and there may be defenses available to you to beat the DUI charge with a our help reviewing your arrest details for potential strategies. Legal fees are also always a concern, and affordable financing is commonly available with most DUI lawyers so the best possible defense is attainable to you. Fees must be weighted against the costs of a conviction:

  • Not just for military service men and women, but any citizen could lose a career if they are unable to drive due to a suspended license for a DUI or DWI offense conviction;
  • You face a severe change in your life style if you cannot drive;
  • Additional high Insurance premiums for several years;
  • You will have a permanent criminal record;
  • With strict new DUI laws nationwide, a person will likely be required to have to install an ignition interlock in their vehicle once their driving privileges are restored. Before starting the car, the driver will have to blow into the device. If an impermissible level of alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. Typically how it works, a person convicted of a first drunk driving offense will have to use this car Breathalyzer device which rents for about $100 a month for at least one year. For people convicted of a second DUI offense, can usually apply to have the interlock machine removed after three years. A driver who is a habitual repeat offender with more than two DUI/DWI convictions may have to install the device permanently, or even risk losing their driver’s license permanently.
  • Getting a DUI charge while in the military and then having a criminal record could hurt your current military service career, future employment, and even restrict your ability to travel to other countries.

Steps to Take to Prevent a Dishonorable Discharge for DUI in the Armed Forces

A DUI or DWI arrest charge while serving in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or National Guard could ruin your career and future in the military. This is because a dishonorable discharge is a strong possibility if you are arrested and then convicted for drunk or drugged driving offense, since there is a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence.  The bottom line is, alcohol or drug related charges while active-duty in the military very often will result serious consequences for a serviceman.

There are certain steps to take now for the best defense options if you currently serve, or plan to serve in the Armed Forces and have been arrested and charged with a first DUI offense. Please have your arrest details reviewed through us online with an experienced and local DUI lawyer from where you will be going to court, and help to protect your rights and your military career.

We will help to ensure you are fully aware of all your true options available, so both your valuable time, money, and case chances to win are never wasted. After examining your arrest details, a specialist DUI attorney will walk you through what to do and expect about what your realistic options are when fighting to get out of a military DUI charge offense.

1 thought on “Military DUI: What to do for a DUI in the Armed Forces & How to Fight to Get Out of It”

  1. If my DUI is dismissed in civilian court can the military (Air Force) still take administrative action against me? If they do take action against me without waiting for a conviction and then later the case is dismissed, will I be able to get back what they toke from me ? (rank, pay, driving privileges, etc…)?

    I did hire a civilian lawyer. Any useful info on any cases like this would be appreciated.

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