For members of the United States military the consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction are often more severe than for persons who are not members of the military (civilians). In addition to civilian-court consequences (jail, prison, fines, penalties, loss of driving privileges) a member of the military who is convicted of a DUI/DWI offense may face the following military consequences: (1) a dishonorable discharge from the military; (2) rank reduction; (3) pay reduction; (4) loss of security clearance; and (5) imprisonment.
Although most criminal offenses alleged to have been committed on military bases are handled by military courts, military courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction (authority) over DUI/DWI offenses alleged to have been committed on a military base. If DUI/DWI charges are filed by both military and civilian courts the courts may coordinate to determine how the defendant will be prosecuted, and both jurisdictions can and may prosecute such an individual in their respective courts.
If a member of the military is arrested on a military base for a DUI/DWI offense the defendant will be charged in a military court under the power of the Uniform Code, as provided in Article 111 Section 911 of the Military Justice Law. See 10 U.S.C. §911. The defendant will be subject to punitive actions and adverse administrative actions. For example, punitive actions may include (1) a court-martial, with sentences of grade reduction, forfeiture of the defendant’s pay, discharge from the military, and imprisonment; and (2) non-judicial punishment provided in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 15—which is commonly known as Captain’s Mast or Office Hours. See 10 U.S.C. §1015. And administrative actions taken by the military may include revocation of pass privileges, revocation of driving privileges, a letter of reprimand, reduction of grade, a bar to reenlistment, mandatory treatment for substance abuse, and corrective training. In addition to these military consequences, such a defendant may also face civilian consequences—such as suspension or revocation of driver’s license and a requirement to use an ignition interlock device (IID).
If a member of the military is arrested outside a military installation by civilian law enforcement authorities and charged with a DUI/DWI offense, the military member will likely be tried in a civilian court. But the military member’s commanding officer may also take administrative actions such revocation of pass privileges, revocation of driving privileges, a letter of reprimand, reduction of grade, a bar to reenlistment, mandatory treatment for substance abuse, and corrective training. And after the civilian case is concluded the military may also bring DUI/DWI charges—and other charges such as disorderly conduct.