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Members of the military face additional consequences for a DUI

Police officers and prosecutors in Georgia are not shy about enforcing the state’s DUI laws. In fact, in 2019, there were nearly 20,000 DUI convictions in the Peach State. Accordingly, if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, you have some chance of a DUI arrest and prosecution.

Civilians face significant criminal and other consequences for drunk driving. While members of the military are vulnerable to the same consequences, they also face additional ones.

Off-base drunk driving

Georgia state courts have jurisdiction over off-base DUI matters. Therefore, if you are not at a military site at the time of your DUI arrest, civilian prosecutors may seek jail time, fines, community service or other punishments. The state of Georgia may also suspend your driving privileges.

On-base drunk driving

If your drunk driving arrest happens on a military base, military officials handle the case. The Uniform Code of Military Justice allows for a court-martial for DUI offenses. A court-martial, of course, may result in imprisonment or a dishonorable discharge. On the other hand, military officials may seek a variety of other punishments in lieu of a court-martial. Among others, these include the following:

  • A letter of reprimand
  • Suspension
  • Duty modifications
  • Grade reduction
  • Pay forfeiture

Overlapping consequences

Clearly, both the state of Georgia and the U.S. Department of Defense have significant power to enforce drunk driving penalties. If you are facing DUI charges, though, you have some additional concerns. That is, there are often life consequences that overlap criminal, civil and military ones. For example, following a DUI conviction, you may have difficulty performing your job duties. Even worse, if you lose your job, you may have trouble finding a new one with a DUI conviction on your record.

If you are a member of the armed forces, you have more to lose following a DUI arrest than civilians do. By understanding the potential consequences you face, you can better defend yourself.

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