A criminal charge of any kind can impact the reputation and career of individuals even before they are actually tried for any kind of offense. For members of the military, being arrested on a criminal charge of drunk driving in a civilian setting can affect their career and ability to maintain their current position and rank. Recently in New Jersey, a command sergeant major of an Army Reserve military police command was arrested for alleged drunk driving and has been placed on suspension as a result.

The 53-year-old soldier was attending an event at Fort Dix, New Jersey on a Friday. Someone made a complaint about an erratic driver on a highway. The vehicle driven by the soldier apparently matched the description of the vehicle. He was pulled over by New Jersey State Police and reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer.

The case is still under investigation. The brigadier general suspended the soldier for the time being, stressing that the suspension is temporary. Despite a civilian investigation, the military can still proceed with an investigation and prosecute the soldier according to military law.

If someone arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey refuses to take a breath test, there may be fines to contend with, along with a one-year driver’s license suspension. However, the judge in the case can use discretion to implement penalties for refusal. Anyone in New Jersey who faces a drunk driving charge, regardless of whether they submit to a test or not, should be fully aware of their rights and may also want to know how a charge can impact their career.

Source: armytimes.com, “MP command sergeant major suspended after DUI arrest”, , July 3, 2014