Federal DUI

Federal DUIA driving under the influence (DUI) charge in a federal jurisdiction can be a serious and complicated matter. If your arrest was made on federal property under the control of the National Park Service such as the Baltimore Washington Parkway, a national park, or elsewhere, your DUI will be federal and different rules will apply. A DUI on a military base is another matter.


Federal law has harsher penalties than state law when it comes to DUI. The charges are made under the Code of Federal Regulations. Probation before judgment (PBJ) is also not available in federal DUI cases. The maximum penalty for a federal DUI is 6 months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Keep in mind that any sentence you serve for a federal DUI will take place in a federal detention facility. No points will be placed on your license, and your license will not be suspended. However, the driver could also lose driving privileges on federal land.

In these cases, implied consent law applies, and there is no right to refuse a breath test or a blood test. People who refuse a breath test are normally taken to a hospital where their blood will be drawn. Refusal of the breath or blood test is a crime with the same penalty as a DUI.


If your DUI occurs on a military base, different rules apply. The Assimilative Crimes Act will apply. This Act states that if there is no federal law that applies to the conduct, then the criminal law of the state where the conduct occurred will apply. Since there is technically no DUI in federal law outside of the National Park Service laws, Maryland law would apply. Maryland law would apply to your DUI, but the case would be handled in federal court. Administrative penalties such as license suspension will apply in these cases, and you will have the potential for a PBJ for a first offense.


If you’ve been arrested for DUI on federal land, you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney. The attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, will work hard to get you the best possible outcome. Contact us online or call us at (301) 494-9620 for a free consultation.

Leave a Reply