Will a DUI Affect My Military Career?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Nov 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

Potentially, Yes.  

With the transition of our military to a smaller fighting force, many people are already being let go from military jobs and discharged.  As in any job, when there are two equally qualified employees, the one without a DUI will usually win out.  Thus, a DUI will affect your military career.  The real question is, to what extent?

Top-Secret Clearance:

Many careers in the United States Military, it is necessary to carry a top-secret security clearance.  A DUI can be a disqualifying event, but it does not always disqualify when the case is handled correctly.  

Under the guidelines, excessive alcohol consumption and criminal conduct (such as getting a DUI) may disqualify a person from having a top-secret clearance.   The government is concerned that excessive alcohol consumption calls into question a person's judgment and trustworthiness.  

Criminal conduct calls into question a person's motivation to obey laws and rules.  It shows a lack of judgment and maturity.  It also subjects a person to potential blackmail.  

As a result, when someone gets a DUI, it may lead to a disqualification for a top-secret clearance, and if a person's military career requires such a clearance, then they can be discharged from military service.  

Chain of Command:

As in any job, when someone's immediate supervisor has a personal aversion to driving under the influence, that alone can cause a service-member trouble. 

Let's face it; some people find the offense of DUI appalling.  It is the only misdemeanor offense the routinely angers people more than several felony offenses. 


In Georgia, people convicted of DUI must serve a minimum of twelve months on probation.  Being on probation is entirely inconsistent with serving in the military, especially if a person is deployed.  For this reason, alone, a DUI conviction can cause the military to discharge someone.

How Can We Help:

The key to saving someone's military career is to try to avoid a conviction and to seek to avoid being placed on probation.  Many times, we can help.  For example, in Columbus Georgia, where many of our service member clients are stationed, our Muscogee County DUI Lawyers have helped get several cases reduced to reckless driving.  We also have our clients complete the conditions of their probation before going to court.  As a result, we can avoid having our clients placed on probation.  

If you have been arrested for DUI while serving our country, let our Muscogee County DUI Attorneys help you today.  Whether you have been arrested for DUI in Columbus Georgia, or anywhere else in our state we have attorneys that can help.  Do not let a DUI arrest affect your military career

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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