UCMJ Article 112a

UCMJ Article 113

Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft, or Vessel


The MCM specifies a service member may be subject to prosecution due to a violation of Article 113 if they:

  1. operate or physically control any vehicle, aircraft, or vessel in a reckless or wanton manner or while impaired by a substance; or
  2. operate or is in actual physical control of any vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while drunk or when the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is equal to or exceeds the applicable limit.

For violations of Article 113 regarding the operation or control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel in the United States, the blood alcohol limit is the lesser of the blood alcohol content limit of the state in which the infraction occurred or an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood and with respect to alcohol concentration in a person’s breath is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, as shown by chemical analysis. The Secretary of Defense may, by regulation, prescribe limits that are lower than the limits specified, if such lower limits are based on scientific developments, as reflected in Federal law of general applicability. If the military installation at which the transgression occurred is located in more than one state, and those states have different blood alcohol content limits, the Secretary of Defense may select one blood alcohol content limit, and have it applied uniformly to the entire installation.

For violations of Article 113 regarding the operation or control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel outside the United States, the blood alcohol limit is an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood and with respect to alcohol concentration in a person’s breath is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, as shown by chemical analysis. The Secretary of Defense may by regulation prescribe limits that are lower than the limits specified, if such lower limits are based on scientific developments, as reflected in Federal law of general applicability.
In order to be convicted of an Article 113 violation, the prosecution must demonstrate;

  1. the accused was operating or in physical control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel; and
  2. while operating or in physical control of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, the accused
    1. did so in a wanton or reckless manner; or
    2. was drunk or impaired; or
    3. the alcohol concentration in the accused’s blood or breath equaled or exceeded the applicable limit.

If the violation resulted in the injury of a person, the caveat “the accused thereby caused the vehicle, aircraft, or vessel to injure a person” must be added.

 

Understanding Article 113 (Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft, or Vessel) of the UCMJ

For the purposes of Article 113, drunk and impaired refer to any intoxication that is sufficient to impair the mental or physical faculties of the service member. Drunk is used to specify alcohol intoxication while impaired refers to intoxication by a controlled substance.

Physical control and actual physical control are synonymous and describe one’s capability and power to dominate, direct, or regulate the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, either in person or through the agency of another, regardless of whether such vehicle, aircraft, or vessel is operated. Operating a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel includes not only driving or guiding a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while it is in motion, either in person or through the agency of another, but also setting of its motive power in action or the manipulation of its controls so as to cause the particular vehicle, aircraft, or vessel to move.

Reckless operation or physical control of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft is apparent when the accused exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. It is operating or physically controlling a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft with such a high degree of negligence that if death were caused, the accused would have committed involuntary manslaughter, at least. Wanton includes “reckless,” but in describing the operation or physical control of a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, wanton may describe willfulness, or a disregard of probable consequences, and thus describe a more aggravated offense.

In order to establish causation, the accused’s drunken or reckless driving must be a proximate cause of injury for the accused to be guilty of drunken or reckless driving resulting in personal injury. Their actions may not be the sole cause of the injury, but rather serve as a contributing factor.

 

Maximum Possible Punishment for an Article 113 Violation

Service member convicted of an Article 113 violation face a maximum possible punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 18 months if the incident resulted in personal injury.

If the incident did not result in personal injury, the maximum possible punishment includes a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 6 months.

 

How do you defend against Article 113 Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft, or Vessel charges?

When you are facing the combined resources of the military as well as the current cultural climate, you need to be prepared to defend your career and your freedom. Crisp and Associates, LLC has a team of experienced trial attorneys who have won these cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected former Army JAG with over 20 years of experience in military law and a sought-after speaker and lecturer on military law. Donald Gordon has litigated cases before the Discharge Review Board, the Board for Correction of Military Records, and the Board for Correction of Naval Records regarding a wide variety of matters and a diverse background of clients

 

If you or someone you know is facing Article 113 charges for Drunken or Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Aircraft, or Vessel, you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 888-347-1514 for a free consultation.

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