Colorado Springs DUI on a Military Base Defense Lawyer
Whether you are a civilian or a member of the military, a DUI charge can have a massive impact on your life. But these charges are especially serious when you are arrested on a military base. Military bases are considered federal land and can elevate a standard DUI into a federal crime. Federal DUI charges require an attorney with military and DUI experience to fight them.
If you were charged with a DUI on a military base, we encourage you to enlist an experienced Colorado Springs military base DUI attorney at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. We will stand up for your rights. We will work hard to see that your life and your future are not jeopardized by these charges. To discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation, call us at (719) 475-2555.
In the state of Colorado, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system, but district attorneys typically only file charges based on specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The main limits you should be aware of are:
- Underage DUI: Any driver under the age of 21 can be charged with an underage DUI if they have any amount of alcohol in their system.
- Commercial Limit: All commercial drivers are barred from operating any vehicle, including their personal and work vehicles, with a BAC of 0.04%.
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): A DWAI charge is filed if a defendant has a BAC of at least 0.05% and less than 0.08%. DWAI charges have lesser penalties than standard DUIs, but should be taken seriously.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): The standard limit for a DUI is 0.08% BAC. This is why most CO drivers get hauled into court.
- Higher BAC: In cases where drivers have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, there are several additional penalties that the court can issue against them, including ignition interlock devices, longer driver’s license suspensions, and mandatory jail sentences.
If you received an intoxicated-driving charge on a military base, the consequences can be catastrophic – whether you are a member of the armed services or not. Military bases are considered federal land – any crime committed on a military base can be tried in a federal court. This means a tougher, harsher trial.
There are several military bases throughout El Paso County where drivers can be arrested for a federal DUI, including:
- United States Air Force Academy
- Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Fort Carson Army Post
- Peterson Air Force Base
- Schriever Air Force Base
Being arrested for a DUI on a military base can result in all of the civilian consequences – even if you are a member of the military. DUI cases involve both criminal punishments and administrative punishments.
In a criminal trial, a federal prosecutor will try to prove that you:
- Operated a motor vehicle; and
- Were intoxicated by drugs or alcohol (depending on the legal limit).
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in a federal court, you can be punished with:
- Up to six months in federal prison;
- A maximum fine of $5,000; and/or
- Probation for up to five years.
Another issue to consider is implied consent laws. If you are arrested for a DUI on federal land, such as a military base, you are automatically required to follow federal implied consent laws. These require all drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to consent to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse the test, you can be charged with a federal misdemeanor and face up to six months in jail.
On the administrative side, your case will be handled by the local DMV through a DMV hearing. The goal of this hearing is to determine if your license should be suspended or revoked based on your DUI arrest. DMV hearings should be taken just as seriously as a criminal trial, as the outcome may impact your defense. A skilled attorney can you defend you in both a criminal trial and DMV hearing to protect you from the full consequences of a DUI.
For members of the military, a DUI can lead to all of the above civilian charges, and impact your military career. Not only will your DUI case be handled by the federal court system, but you can also be charged in both state and federal court for the offence, depending upon the circumstances of your DUI or DWI stop. (For instance, was there any collateral damage to people or property?)
Different commanding officers will react differently to the news that you've been arrested for intoxicated driving. Some officers will wait to see how the courts rule before taking any kind of punitive action. Others might order immediate disciplinary action in response to the arrest.
Non-judicial punitive action for DUI or DWAI charges can include everything from a letter of reprimand to a slash in pay to a demotion to the establishment of extra duties. In some cases, charged individuals may be restricted to quarters or denied appointments. Offenders may also lose the privilege to drive on the base. And – depending upon the severity of the incident – a court-martial can even be issued.
Often, the commanding officers' response will be determined partly by the willingness of the service member to explore potential defenses. By notifying your officer that you have a defense, you may be able to stave off immediate punishments and inconveniences.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for a DUI on a military base, you need the experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. Our founding lawyer, Timothy Bussey, has served in the U.S. Air Force and understands the consequences that both civilians and members of the military can face for a DUI. As one of the only attorneys in Colorado with the ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation, he has unique knowledge of the testing procedures used to convict defendants, which will enable him to launch a strong defense on your behalf.
Call us at (719) 475-2555 to receive a free case evaluation and learn how one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Colorado can safeguard your future.