Here in Georgia, we have many young men and women who proudly enlist in the armed forces. Some are looking to serve our country, while others are seeking job security or educational benefits. For many, it can be a great career choice. However, it is unfortunate that a simple one-time lapse of judgment will limit their ability to join the military. A conviction for driving under the influence can make it tough to enlist, but not impossible.

Enlisting in the Military After a DUI

If you have had a DUI, and are interested in joining the military, before you begin the enlistment process, you will have to take care of all related DUI orders and charges. For most people convicted of a first time DUI in Georgia, this will consist of paying all court fees, any fines, successful completion of any court ordered community service and DUI classes, and wait until probation has been completed. After that, the process of enlistment can begin.

The process of enlisting can be long and confusing. Each branch has its own individual requirements. It generally starts with a visit with a military recruiter. A candidate will discuss their plans and a recruiter will make sure they meet the basic eligibility requirements. This is usually where the issue of a past DUI will first come up. Whether or not a DUI will prevent someone from being able to join will really depend on a number of factors. This includes:

  • How long ago was the DUI;
  • Whether the applicant has more than one DUI;
  • If the DUI involved drugs;
  • Specific branch of the military (Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, or Coast Guard);
  • Availability of waivers;
  • Whether recruitment numbers have already been met or exceeded; and
  • Candidates other qualifications.

As the branches of the military have had to go through budget cutbacks, the military has seen a reduction in hiring. Most branches now have more people trying to join than they have open positions. They are even making re-enlistment standards harder. Whereas a decade ago, it may have been easier to get a waiver for a DUI conviction, those waivers may be more difficult to come by. This is especially true in the Air Force, which generally treats a DUI more seriously than the Marines. That is not to say that a waiver for a DUI is any easier to get for the Marine Corps. And for people trying to get into Officer Candidate School, it will be extremely difficult with a DUI conviction on their record.

After an initial evaluation with a recruiter, a candidate will then set a date to visit the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). There, the candidate will be evaluated through a number of factors. This includes physical qualifications, aptitude, and moral standards. Fingerprints will be taken, which are required for a background check and security clearance. MEPS standards also vary by each branch of the military.

Georgia DUI Defense for Military Recruits

A DUI may have a greater impact on someone who wants to join the military in the future.

The military looks at DUIs much more severely than many other employers. Don't let a one-time mistake mean the end of any future in the armed services. If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence in Georgia, please call me as soon as you can. I will make sure you are treated fairly, and your rights are defended.