According to the CDC, every day 29 people lose their lives because of impaired driving. In 2016 alone, more than 10,000 people died in DUI related accidents. In addition to that, impaired driving also results in an annual loss of more than $44 billion.
The above mentioned stats are not supposed to scare you, but give you an idea of how severe the problem is in the United States.
Soldiers who Drive under Influence
Common civilians can face dire consequences if they are arrested for driving under influence and for soldiers this can be even worse since they face penalties under both military as well as state laws.
The nature of arrest is a huge factor in these situations. The consequences would be different for soldiers who are arrested on-base and for soldiers who are arrested off-base. Let’s take a look at the details:
Military laws are usually stricter because the authorities need to instill a sense of responsibility in the soldiers and ensure that they are disciplined. There’s a lot riding on their shoulders and there is no room for carelessness.
Therefore, if you get arrested for DUI on-base then you will be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
As per section 911 of the aforementioned law, you will be arrested for DUI, if your blood alcohol level is higher than 0.08. The punishment in such cases can be both judicial as well as non-judicial. It depends on the severity of the crime as well.
For example, if you injured or killed someone while driving under influence, then you will face judicial punishment. You might be discharged from the army, your pay might be suspended or reduced, and there’s also the possibility of a prison sentence.
In contrast, in case of non-judicial penalties, your commanding officer will hear the case and decide how to deal with it. They might dismiss it or punish you.
Furthermore, you will also be charged administrative penalties. For example, you will be given a letter of remand and there might be a reduction in your overall rank as well.
If you’re arrested off-base, you will be tried in a civilian court of law. Again, the penalties depend on the offence committed. You might be arrested, your license might be suspended, and your vehicle might get impounded.
However, in case of an off base arrest, you can seek assistance of a bail bond agent. These people can help you create a strong case for yourself and get out of jail quickly.