Sunday, April 27, 2008

Drunk driving and the military

The Brunswick Naval Air Station is not too far from where I practice so I've had occasion to deal with more than a few military personnel who've been charged with OUI. The tales they tell are not pretty. UCMJ action... reduction in rank... garnishment of wages... discharge from the service. These are just a few of the things you might expect if you serve in the armed forces and are charged with an OUI. Each branch of service is different and has varying policies concerning alcohol charges and the impact it could have on your career. Some service branches will discharge you for a conviction while others will take some form of UCMJ action and require that you undergo an alcohol evaluation and rehabilitation course.

While I do not practice before military tribunals nor can I speak to specifics concerning the Uniform Code of Military Justice, I can say that based on anecdotal evidence I have received from military personnel charged with OUI, the stakes are very high. If you are a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines and have been charged with an OUI, you must take this charge seriously. I guarantee that your commander will take it seriously and the consequences will be harsh. As a former member of the United States Army stationed CONUS and in Korea, I can tell you that I saw more than a few friends suffer the harsh reality of UCMJ action.

The best solution of all for military personnel is to not even place yourself in a position where you career might be compromised. Finally, If you are a military pilot and are charged with an OUI, the consequences are many times greater and can even prevent you from flying for the private airline industry in the future.

William T. Bly, Esq.
Maine OUI Lawyer