Anyone in the military knows that alcohol use is common. Unfortunately, so is the use of other intoxicants. Having a few drinks and letting off some steam is not uncommon in military life, but when can this behavior get you into trouble?
UCMJ on drunkenness while on duty and other offenses
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Art. 112 and 113 deal with alcohol and drug crimes in the military. It is important to know these rules well. Whether you have been arrested and are facing a court martial or you might have a few drinks with your fellow servicemembers during your military service, these rules could apply to you.
Article 112 on drunkenness
Article 112 of the UCMJ orders a court martial for anyone who is:
- Drunk on duty
- Incapacitated for duty from alcohol or other drug use
- Drunk while a prisoner
In many cases, the infraction itself seems simple while it’s happening. Perhaps you’re at a party. You don’t have any active duty until the next morning, but one drink leads to another and you find yourself reporting for duty. But there is still alcohol in your system.
Or perhaps you are a prisoner for some other offense, and the prison guard slips you a flask. It seems harmless at the time, but it could lead to serious consequences.
Article 113 on reckless operation
Article 113 of the UCMJ regulates the operation of a motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel when drunk or intoxicated. Violating this rule also results in a court martial, which can result in a wide range of serious punishment, including dishonorable discharge.
Be careful when enjoying alcohol when you have duty coming up and avoid other intoxicants. If you have been charged with a 112 or 113 crime, make sure you fight back aggressively against these charges. Your military future may be at stake.