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Military DUI Questions

A Military Driving under the Influence (DUI) can potentially ruin a soldier's career. This is different from a civilian DUI. Military Experts answer a wide variety of questions for members or concerned family members. Read below where Experts have answered questions.

Can a soldier be discharged from the Army for receiving a DUI?

A soldier can be discharged from the Army for receiving a DUI. It is possible that you could be separated for misconduct under Chapter 14. This will depend upon your commander and his tolerance to such behavior. Usually, a DUI wouldn't compel a separation, unlike a positive drug test, which would result in a process for separation.

Is it possible to avoid a field grade Article 15 after receiving two DUI charges?

There is a way to avoid a field grade Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP). You can refuse the NJP and demand a court martial. However, before you make any rash decisions, you should discuss your options with a local judge advocate. Usually, a Judge Advocate General (JAG) will not recommend this action due to the extreme differences of court martial and NJP punishment. You can still face separation if you are found guilty in a civilian court due to your previous charges for DUI. However, it is possible that you will not be processed if you have an outstanding record aside from the DUI charges, and your Command is not strict when it comes to administrative processing. If your Command chooses to process you for separation, you are entitled to a Board. This will allow you a chance to defend yourself from being separated with an assigned judge advocate at the board.

If a soldier only backed out of a parking spot and pull forward could he/she still be charged with a DUI by the military?

You are at risk of being charged with a DUI if you operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Article 111, UCMJ "Any person subject to this chapter who operates any vehicle while drunk, or in a reckless or wanton manner, or while impaired by a substance described in section 912a (b) of this title (article 112a (b)), shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

Because you did operate the vehicle, even though you just backed out and pulled back in, this will be enough to prove the DUI in court. However, it is possible that even with a "first offense", you may be able to finish your current contract, and may be able to re-enlist.

Is there any way to speed up a DUI trial before leaving for boot camp, without the Air Force’s knowledge?

You can speak with the prosecutor and try to resolve the case as soon as possible. It may be likely to make a deal for a plea in order to keep the charges from being criminal. If you cannot reach an agreement on the charges, you may be convicted which may hurt your chances to enlist. You should let the military know about the charges once you have completed the process with the state. If you don't disclose the DUI to the military, it may come back to harm your career later on. You may want to speak with a local attorney to help work a plea deal with the prosecutor. This may help speed the process.

If a soldier is facing a General Discharge due to a DUI, could he/she lose their potential military benefits?

A general discharge will keep you from receiving educational benefits and can potentially hurt future career opportunities. However, there are worse outcomes than a general discharge. You could receive martial level discharge plus jail time or you could receive any other than honorable discharge.

Being charged with a DUI can be expensive, but a military DUI may potentially ruin your career. If you find yourself in a similar situation and need answers, you can ask a Military lawyer on JustAnswer. The Experts are knowledgeable in military law and have experience with DUI penalties. When you ask an Expert a question, you can be sure that you are receiving the most knowledgeable information in an efficient manner.

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