DUI AND THE MILITARY
A DUI conviction can destroy a military career. No branch of the service goes easy on DUI offenders. Mr. Mac Master has successfully defended numerous military personnel who were charged with DUI in cases in the State court system, the Federal court system, and in ADLRO proceedings. As a civilian, looking in from the outside at the way that the different branches of the military handle DUI offenses, Mr. Mac Master is both surprised and disappointed at the lack of consistency in the manner in which DUI offenses are handled by the military.
The consequences for similar offenses can differ considerably from command to command. Sometimes it seems that the outcome determinative factor is the service member's relationship with his/her commanding officer. Some commands will take a "wait and see" approach. This is the most that can be hoped for. With this approach, if the service member can beat the criminal case and the ADLRO case, the command will not impose any, or only minimal, consequences for the arrest. Other commands hammer the service member based on the mere fact of an alcohol related arrest.
Typical consequences include an immediate order into a military alcohol abuse treatment program and a one-year revocation of base driving privileges. In the Navy most of those accused of DUI go through a Captain's Mast. In the Army, Air Force and Marines, non-judicial punishment is also common. Mr. Mac Master has yet to hear of a case where anyone beat a DUI charge at a Captain's Mast, or any other non-judicial punishment proceeding. Punishments imposed can include reduction in rank, loss of pay, extra duty, restriction to quarters, letters of reprimand, and other lesser insults and inconveniences. DUI arrests can also prompt Courts Martial proceedings and administrative separation proceedings.
With the outcome of a Captain's Mast, or any other non-judicial punishment proceeding, often being pretty much a foregone conclusion, sometimes the only thing that a service member can do to change the course of events is to act before the snowball has rolled too far down the hill. If you promptly inform your command that you intend to fight the criminal case, and the ADLRO case, you may be able to persuade the command to take the wait and see approach. It may also be better to quickly and voluntarily enter an alcohol treatment program, instead of waiting to be ordered to do so.
Offenses that occurred on a military base will usually, but not always, be prosecuted in the Federal court system. In the Federal court system, these cases are prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorneys ("SAUSA") who are members of the branch of the service that controls the base on which the offense occurred. If the service member gets hammered with nonjudicial punishment, the SAUSA will sometimes determine that the service member has already been punished enough, and will opt not to proceed with any further criminal prosecution.
Mr. Mac Master has saved many military careers from the damaging effects of a DUI conviction. He has protected literally thousands of dollars in retirement, and active duty, pay.
Mr. Mac Master understands the terrible predicament that a DUI arrest can create for a member of the military. He wants to help you to find a way out of it - or at the very least - to minimize the harm it is likely to cause to your military career.
Contact Mr. Mac Master today to discuss these important issues!
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