top of page

Navigating the Risks: The Consequences of Drinking and Driving for Military Personnel

For the brave men and women serving across the various branches of the military, maintaining discipline and abiding by both military and civilian laws is paramount. At The Dorsk Law Office, Plc., we understand the unique pressures and challenges faced by military service members.

One area where the lines between military discipline and civilian law often intersect with serious consequences is drinking and driving, especially when attempting to return to base.

The High Stakes of a DUI for Military Personnel

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense for anyone, but for military personnel, the stakes are even higher. When you attempt to drive back to base after drinking, you're not only risking your safety and the safety of others but also your military career. Military installations have their own security measures, and trying to pass through security while under the influence can quickly escalate into a DUI investigation.

Federal Court and Military Command: Double Jeopardy

Should you be caught attempting to drive under the influence onto a military base, you will likely face charges in federal court. This is because military bases are federal property, and offenses committed on federal property are prosecuted in federal courts. The consequences of a federal DUI conviction are severe and can include fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record.

Moreover, military personnel will also face repercussions from their command, independent of the federal prosecution. These can range from demotion to discharge, depending on the severity of the offense and the individual’s service record. The dual nature of these proceedings means you could be fighting battles on two fronts: in federal court and within your branch of the military.

The Impact on Your Military Career

A DUI conviction can have a lasting impact on your military career. Beyond the immediate legal penalties, the stain on your record can affect promotions, qualifications for certain positions, and even your eligibility to serve. In some cases, a DUI can lead to an Other Than Honorable discharge, significantly affecting your post-military life, including the loss of veterans' benefits.

Protecting Yourself and Your Career

The best strategy to protect yourself and your career is to avoid drinking and driving altogether. If you plan to drink, ensure you have a plan to get back to base safely that doesn't involve you behind the wheel. Utilize designated drivers, taxis, or rideshare apps. Many bases also offer programs to assist service members in getting back safely without having to drive.

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, it's critical to seek legal representation experienced in both federal DUI defense and military law. At Dorsk Law Office, Plc., we specialize in defending military personnel facing DUI charges. We understand the nuances of federal and military law and work tirelessly to defend your rights and your career.

In Conclusion

The consequences of drinking and driving for military personnel are severe and far-reaching. The risk of endangering lives, facing federal charges, and damaging your military career should make every service member think twice before driving under the influence. Remember, discipline does not end when you leave the base; it's a cornerstone of military life, extending to all aspects of your behavior, on and off duty.

Stay safe, make responsible choices, and protect the career you've worked so hard to build. Should you ever need guidance or find yourself in a legal situation, contact us at The Dorsk Law Office, Plc. 757-423-0271 for a FREE consultation.

The Dorsk Law Office is here to support you every step of the way.

The Consequences of Drinking and Driving for Military Personnel
US Military


bottom of page