There are plenty of civilian careers in which a DUI has no lasting impact. That is simply not the case for California military personnel who get into trouble for driving under the influence. A single DUI charge may impact your military career for years to come.
Punishment for a DUI
In addition to the legal issues caused by a DUI charge, military members can also face punishment under the UCMJ. Each branch of the US military has different policies that dictate the internal punishment for a DUI. In addition to the civilian punishments, you risk facing a court martial.
Security clearance issues
In addition to civilian charges and the possibility of a court martial, military personnel who have DUI charges face difficulties getting security clearances. In addition to derailing future career goals, these clearance issues make it harder for certain military members to continue their existing jobs.
It’s not uncommon for military members charged with a DUI to face demotion. In addition to lower pay, the military imposes different retirement requirements for lower-ranking officers. This means that military personnel who get a DUI get forced out of their position earlier than they would have if they hadn’t faced demotion.
Other issues caused by a DUI
Even if you don’t get demoted, the military may enforce other penalties on service members who get a DUI. For instance, the odds of you ever getting a promotion following a DUI are slim. Additionally, military members who get a DUI often end up getting the assignments that no one else wants to take.
A single bad decision that results in a DUI has the potential to completely ruin your career plans within the US military. Additionally, DUI charges make it hard to find a promising career after leaving the military.