Can I be Charged With DUI at a Court Martial?
Both military and civilian law enforcement take driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. A DUI conviction can have a major impact on your life. If civilian police arrested you for DUI, this can impact both your civilian and military life. If you have been charged with DUI on a military installation, you can be subject to an administrative punishment or court martial process.
If your DUI charge was filed by both military and civilian law enforcement, the two will often cooperate and decide how you will be prosecuted. A DUI arrest can result in both military and civilian charges, based on the location of the incident and which authorities were involved. If a civilian criminal court acquits you, the military can still take punitive actions, including a court martial.
Jurisdiction (which entity has authority over the DUI arrest) is normally decided by whether you were arrested on or off a military installation:
• If you are arrested on base you will be charged by the military under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and potentially face both a court martial and administrative actions. You will not face civilian criminal charges but the state may still suspend your license or impose other penalties impacting your ability to drive.
• If you are arrested by civilian police and you are charged with a DUI off a military installation, you will not face a military court martial for the same crime. However, your commanding officer has the ability to take administrative actions. The military could charge you with other crimes related to the incident (such as disorderly conduct).
If you are facing a court martial based on a DUI charge, you need the help of experienced defense attorneys. Given the possible penalties and costs to your career, you should contact the court martial defense attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein who are available to those living in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas, and throughout the country. Call them at (303)567-7981 for a free consultation today.