Service in the U.S. armed forces is an admirable career. Georgia is home to a number of proud military personnel, with four branches of the military represented in our state. Whether looking to join the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps or the Navy, the unfortunate fact is that a DUI can harm your chances of enlisting. The military has been meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals over the past few years, and as a result can be much more selective when it comes to accepting enlistees.
Military Enlistment After a DUI
To put it simply, a single DUI that happened years ago, with a clean record since, will generally not automatically result in denial from military service. However, it is still a hurdle to overcome. Even if a recruit is otherwise fully qualified, considering that military officials have an available pool of potential recruits, they will often choose the candidate who does not have any alcohol-related driving violation on their record.
During an initial screening with a military recruiter, they will usually ask about any criminal convictions such as a DUI. Based on the individual recruit, the military recruiter will be able to advise on the likelihood of a waiver being granted for enlistment. It is never advisable to lie to the recruiter about a past DUI, because even if the recruiter does not know about criminal violations, it will turn up later. After an initial screening, it will be during MEPS, or the Military Entrance Processing Station, when a candidate will be evaluated for selection. This will include a physical evaluation and moral fitness evaluation which includes an FBI background check.
If a candidate has had a DUI, they must first take care of all court ordered requirements before trying to enlist. For a DUI, this means completing any jail time, paying all court fines and fees, successful completion of any DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction program, community service hours, and waiting until probation has ended.
After that, a recruit will have to get a waiver. Depending on when the driver got a conviction for driving under the influence, and if they had more than one DUI, the waiver may come from a recruiting commander, executive officer, or may have to be approved by a commanding general. However, even if a recruit is allowed to enlist through being granted a waiver, their career options may be limited. Each MOS, or occupation, has it's own security level requirement, and security clearance approval cannot be satisfied by an enlistment waiver.
DUI Defense Lawyer for Military Recruits
If you are looking to join the Army, Marine Corps or other military branch, and have been arrested for a DUI, you need to contact an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer with a focus on defending DUI cases and other alcohol-related charges. We understand what a DUI conviction can mean to your future military opportunities, and will fight for your rights. Call our office anytime, and we will fight to get your charges reduced or dropped.