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Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.
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Will a DUI Get Me Kicked Out of the Military?


Whether you’re in the military to earn valuable career skills, to earn money for college, or to achieve your dream of a permanent military career, surely, you don’t want to do anything that could mess up this opportunity.

If you’re in your late teens or early 20s, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be tempted by alcohol on several occasions, especially when you go out for drinks with your friends. Unfortunately, if you get a DUI, a momentary lapse in judgment could affect your future in the Armed Forces.

As everyone knows, lots of people get arrested for DUI or alcohol or drugs every day. The catch is, if you’re in the military and you’re arrested for DUI, this can be a bigger problem than it is for a civilian – and you probably have some good ideas as to why.

Consequences of a DUI When You’re Enlisted

Can a DUI get you kicked out of the military? Yes, it is possible to get discharged; however, that’s not the usual punishment. Every branch handles DUIs differently. For example, if you’re an officer or an NCO, your chances of getting kicked out are greater.

When we’re in the middle of a war, you’re in better shape, but when peacetime kicks in and a DUI conviction hits your record, the chances of getting the boot are higher.

Here’s what is likely to happen:

  • Demotion
  • Loss of pay grade
  • Barred from future promotions
  • You may be allowed to complete your term, but not be allowed another one

As a general rule, the military frowns upon any criminal activity, including DUIs. Will you be kicked out of the service for a DUI? Probably not, though you can expect a DUI to impact your rank, your pay grade, and your military career.

If you have put a lot of years in the service, they may pressure you to retire in lieu of adverse administration action – another reason to consult with our firm as soon as possible. The good news is that if your charge can be reduced to a “wet reckless,” the outcome will likely be more favorable.

Are You Stationed in San Diego?

San Diego, which is a short drive from South Orange County has many bases including Naval Base San Diego, MCAS Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Naval Base Coronado, and Naval Base Point Loma. If you’re serving at one of these bases and facing DUI charges in Orange County, we urge you to contact our firm for help.

Our lead attorney is Board Certified in DUI defense, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, and certified as a standardized field sobriety test instructor. Contact us for a free case consultation!

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