Obtaining a DUI is still possible on a military base regardless if you are a civilian or not. In California, there are a significant number of military bases and obtaining a DUI one of them occurs quite often.
When on Base
When you are on base, any civilian driving onto the base, falls under the federal jurisdiction. This applies to all military bases, regardless of the state you are in. If a DUI is committed by a civilian once on a military base is considered a federal offense. This federal offense falls under the Code of Federal Regulation. Because of this categorization, it is not something that the local Superior Courts in California handles. Many bases have a “zero tolerance” approach when it comes to civilians driving under the influence. Military police officers possess the same the same authority as civilian police officers to stop vehicles if there is probably cause, administer field sobriety tests, and arrest drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence.
Local Superior Court
Civilian offenses do not fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Instead, these offenses are referred to the United States Attorney for filing within the Federal Court. Even though the case will not necessarily be filed in the local Superior Court, the incident will probably, but not necessarily be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and then driver then has 10 days to request an administrative hearing.
One must file the request for an administrative hearing within the necessary time frame. If one does not file a request within the necessary time frame, an automatic license suspension will take effect. Civilians who were a part of a DUI conviction while visiting a military base qualify for same rights and protections in Federal Court as they are in the California Superior Court.
A civilian convicted of a DUI while visiting a military base, in federal court, they can face various consequences. These consequences can consist of prison time, large fines, and a suspended license for up to 1-year. Consequences will increase in the case of a second or subsequent conviction or if there are aggravated circumstances such as DUI accident that resulted in severe injuries or fatalities.
In the unlucky event that you or someone you know obtains a DUI visiting a military base as a civilian in San Diego, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Rick Mueller, California DUI Lawyers Association Specialist, has years of experience dealing with DUI cases. To improve your chances of a favorable outcome, call Rick Mueller, California DUI Lawyers Association Specialist to get the best possible outcome for your specific situation.