While the vast majority of offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) are filed and heard in state courts, DUI may also be charged as a federal offense. Most commonly, federal DUI charges arise in situations where the offender is stopped on the property of a federal military installation, national park, national monument, post office or on other federal property.
DUI on National Park Service land
If the DUI occurred on land controlled by the National Park Service, the DUI may be prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6-months incarceration, a $5,000.00 fine and 5-years of probation. Additionally, a refusal of testing is considered a criminal offense with punishment of up to one-year incarceration, a fine and the suspension of driving privileges on federal land or property for a period of up to one-year.
More severe penalties exist if a minor is present in the vehicle or if a minor is injured as a result of a DUI involving an accident occurring on lands controlled by the National Park Service. Under these circumstances, you may be charged with a felony with increased periods of incarceration, fines and further loss of driving privileges.
DUI on a military base
Members of the military arrested for DUI on a military base are subject to court-martial pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Potential punishments include, but are not limited to, loss of rank or reduction in grade, dishonorable discharge, an order to complete an alcohol or drug abuse program, and the loss of pay or security clearance.
DUI on other federal land
Because there is no separate federal law for DUIs that occur on federal properties not administered by the National Park Service, or DUIs committed by civilians on federal military installations, a federal law known as the Assimilative Crimes Act requires that such DUIs are heard in federal court pursuant to the DUI laws of the state where the offense occurred. Although the matter is heard in federal court, the state’s laws govern the DUI law to be followed, including the penalties to be imposed upon a finding of guilty. Even though state law is followed, the federal court rules and procedures, as well as the types of dispositions that the federal court can impose, vary greatly from those in state courts.
Federal DUI charges in Illinois
In Illinois, federal DUI charges may be heard in one of the three federal districts: Northern District, Central District and Southern District. The case is assigned to the district within which the offense occurred.
If you are convicted of DUI in federal court in Illinois, it is important to remember that a DUI conviction may be reported to the Illinois Secretary of State resulting in a revocation of your Illinois driver’s license and privileges. A driver’s license revocation would require an administrative hearing before the Secretary of State to reinstate your driving privileges once your are eligible.
Contact our federal DUI defense attorneys
The DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent clients facing federal DUI charges in Illinois. If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI on federal property, contact us today to arrange an initial consultation.
Our DUI attorneys currently accept DUI cases assigned to the Northern District, which are heard at the Dirksen Federal Building located at 219 S. Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago. Contact us today at (847) 390-8500 or by submitting your information via our contact form.