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Protect yourself if you get a DUI in the military

On the whole, a military DUI is much more serious than a civilian DUI. Since it occurs during military service, you could face a court martial thanks to Article 15. You could be affected off and on base, making a military DUI particularly damaging to your reputation and career.

The military courts don't have exclusive jurisdiction when it comes to a DUI, but that doesn't mean you won't face trouble. If you get a DUI on base, you'll be subject to adverse administrative actions as well as a court martial. The good news is that you don't have to worry about civilian criminal charges, but you could still lose your license, have to use an ignition interlock device and have to deal with other noncriminal penalties.

If you're arrested by civilian police off base, then you'll likely face criminal charges but only in civilian court. You may be forced to go through substance abuse treatment, lose pass privileges or have corrective training ordered by your commanding officer. The military has the right to charge you with crimes related to your DUI as well.

If you are a civilian who ends up arrested for a DUI on a military base, you will likely face charges in federal court instead of state court. Remember this, since it could increase the penalties.

No matter who you are, a DUI could be damaging to your life. Our website has more on what to do if you face a DUI. With the right help, it's possible to fight the charges and reduce the damage done.

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