Caught drink driving but in the military?


The impact of a driving ban on your military career

We know that losing your driving licence could mean the end of your military career. For service personnel, we also know that driving is an important part of the job and allows you to travel too and from your base, barracks or area of operation. If you are Army, RAF or Navy personnel, the consequences of a drink driving conviction can have a serious impact on your livelihood. 

Driving bans in the Magistrates' court

If you decide to plead guilty to drink driving, the Magistrates' will impose a minimum driving ban of 12 months. Depending upon the alcohol level, the driving disqualification could be for considerably longer.  The court will also order you to pay a financial penalty and you will receive a criminal record. In more serious cases, the court may choose to give you community service or send you to prison. A criminal record alone can severely affect your career in the military.

Court Marshall

We're asked a lot about military court proceedings. If you are in the military and you are charged with drink driving you can also be prosecuted in the military court. This is in addition to proceedings in the 'civi court' (which would usually come first). The Court Martial can pass the full range of custodial and non-custodial sentences available in the Civi Court (with the exception of POCA orders and disqualification from driving) and an additional range of sentences available under the Armed Forces Act 2006, including;

  • dismissal from Her Majesty’s Service;
  • detention for up to two years in military detention, and;
  • reduction in rank.

Almost all defendants in the Court Martial are serving military personnel of good character and the consequences of these sentences upon them and their families can be very significant. ( You can read more about Court Martial on the official Judiciary Web Page.

Guidance issued by the Judge Advocate General recommends the following sentence for drink driving;

  1. If you are under twice the legal limit, you can be fined up to 28 days pay.
  2. If you over twice the legal limit, the penalty is 90 days detention (military prison).

Joining the military with a drink driving conviction

A criminal conviction such as drink-driving can have a profound impact on your chances being accepted into the military. You will be required to disclose any unspent criminal conviction if you attempt to join the armed-forces. If you are accepted into the military with a criminal record, your chances of advancing your career are slim. Contact us today if you are worried about a criminal conviction.

Crown Prosecution Service

If you are charged with drink driving, you will be prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS is responsible for proving the case against you. They are responsible for gathering the evidence in a criminal case and presenting the case to the Magistrates.

Service Prosecuting Authority

The Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) is the principal prosecuting authority within the Service Justice System and is responsible for the prosecution of service offences before the Service Courts. Which include, the Court Martial, the Court Martial Appeal Court, the Service Civilian Court and the Summary Appeal Court.

What Shall I Do if I’m Arrested for Drink Driving?

If you find yourself accused of drink driving, the first thing to do is secure expert legal advice. Please do not speak with law enforcement without first consulting with a solicitor. 

Before you do anything else, we strongly advise that you get in touch with our team of legal professionals to discuss your circumstances and options. Our team of friendly and non judgmental experts will be on hand to respond to you as soon as possible and help to navigate you through the situation from start to finish. Contact us today.

If you'd like to discuss your case in detail, contact our team of specialists on 01514228020. All our initial advice is completely free of charge. We are able to explain in straightforward terms what is likely to happen in your case.