Military Personnel with a DUI
Under Georgia law, the courts and police do not differentiate a driving while intoxicated charge between civilian and military drivers. It remains illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including where a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. A DUI arrest can take place off base, where it will be handled in state court, or on base, where it is handled as a military matter. Either way, a driver charge with a DUI may face some serious consequences.
Georgia Military Bases
Georgia is proudly home to a number of men and women in uniform. The state has military bases from all four major military branches, with two Navy bases, two Air Force bases, a Marine Corps base, and number of Army bases throughout the state, including one of the Army's largest bases, Fort Benning.
If a driver is arrested or a DUI on base, they will be charged by the military, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under the military court, an individual could face court martial, as well as other administrative penalties. While the DUI will not be handled in state court, the State of Georgia may still suspend the driver's license. A suspended license is an administrative action by the state, rather than a criminal proceeding.
A court martial may result in serious penalties for military personnel, including forfeiture of pay, suspension or other restrictions, reprimand, imprisonment, grade reduction and even discharge from the military. These are known as non-judicial punishments, authorized by Article 15. In addition, military officials may also impose administrative actions to include revoking pass privileges, additional training, or mandatory alcohol treatment and education.
Off Base DUI
If a member of the military, either enlisted or officer, is arrested off base on Georgia state roadways, they will be charged in state court. In state court, military personnel are subject to the same penalties as civilian drivers. This includes possible jail time and driver's license suspension for up to one year, as well as community service and DUI school. In addition, fines, fees and court costs can add up to over $1,000. Drivers who are in the military will also only have ten days to file an appeal of their license suspension, or risk a year-long suspension.
On top of the criminal proceeding, the person's commanding officer may still take additional actions, which could include substance abuse treatment and education, reprimand, revocation of pass privileges, mandatory training and even bar reenlistment.
Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer for Soldiers
If you have been charged with driving under the influence off base on Georgia roads, the military area defense counsel cannot represent you in criminal court, or before an ALS hearing. Your dependents and civilian family members are also not entitled to military defense representation. If you are facing a DUI conviction, don't wait any longer and call my office today. You deserve an experienced, local DUI defense lawyer who understands the consequences a DUI can have on your military career. I will work hard to make get the DUI charges reduced or dropped, so you can keep your license and your job.