An arrest and conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Maryland can lead to many consequences. You may face probation, fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or even jail time. In addition to court-ordered penalties, many people will face additional collateral consequences that can affect their lives in many ways. Military members are especially susceptible to additional consequences outside of criminal court.
The United States military holds its service members to a high standard of conduct. Therefore, allegations of criminal activity can lead to many different administrative sanctions that can jeopardize—or even end—a military career.
DWI Arrests by Civilian Officers
You may think that an off-duty arrest for DWI while you are not on a military base should not affect your military career. However, military policies advise otherwise. Anyone on active duty faces possible sanctions even if the arrest took place away from a base and by a civilian police officer.
To make matters worse, the military takes criminal accusations seriously, even without a formal conviction. As soon as a prosecutor issues DWI charges, your commanding officer has the discretion to impose administrative sanctions as they see fit. Such sanctions may include:
- Mandatory substance abuse evaluation and treatment
- Corrective training, including educational courses on military standards and laws
- Revocation of driving or pass privileges
After a conviction of DWI, the sanctions can significantly increase and may include a reduction in grade or a bar to reenlistment. If you have more than one alcohol-related incident in one year, your commanding officer may initiate separation proceedings. For these reasons, it is critical to prevent a DWI conviction and have charges dismissed whenever possible.
DWI Arrests on Base
There are numerous military bases in the State of Maryland that house many service members and their families. DWI arrests that occur on base can have significantly different effects than a traditional DWI case, as follows:
- Active member arrest – This will likely result in a court martial and charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) laws, as well as serious administrative sanctions.
- Civilian arrest – This can result in criminal charges in federal court instead of in Maryland state court.
Anyone arrested for DWI on or off a military base should immediately call a highly experienced defense attorney who understands all possible military sanctions.
Do Not Wait to Contact a Maryland DWI Defense Attorney
Too many people fail to realize the full range of long-lasting effects of a DWI conviction.
Do not make the mistake of just accepting a DWI conviction by pleading guilty before speaking with an attorney. You could regret the decision for years to come, especially if you are in the military, have a professional license or security clearance, or want to participate in a higher education program. You should never risk your future opportunities—instead, consult with a highly experienced criminal defense attorney at Alpert Schreyer, LLC. We help many clients avoid as many consequences as possible after a DWI arrest, and it is critical to have a strong defense, even for a first-time DWI. Call (866) 444-6363 or contact our office online to schedule your free case evaluation right away.