The vast majority of drunk driving cases are prosecuted in state superior courts. However, DUI / DWI arrests that take place on federally owned land such as military bases and national parks are prosecuted in federal court. A DUI attorney from www.NotDrunk.com who is knowledgeable about federal drunk driving cases can explain the difference between state and federal driving under the influence prosecutions and the best defense strategies for each case.
Which laws that will be applied in a federal driving under the influence arrest depends on where the arrest occurred. Arrests that occur in national parks fall under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and are governed by the Code of Federal Regulations. Drunk driving arrests on any other federally owned land fall under the law of the state in which the arrest took place under the authority of the Assimilative Crimes Act.
Drinking and driving in a national park is prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to six months in a federal prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The driver also may be placed on probation for up to five years.
A federal DUI / DWI conviction stemming from an arrest on non-national-park federal lands will result in the same punishment as cases prosecuted in state superior court. The driver may face fines, jail time, and other consequences.
A driver who refused to submit to a chemical test after being arrested for DUI / DWI on federal land faces additional punishment. Individuals who drive on federal lands do so under an implied consent law, meaning that they must submit to a blood, breath or urine test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) if arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Refusing a chemical test after a lawful drunk driving arrest is a misdemeanor under the Code of Federal Regulations. If convicted, the driver faces a fine, up to six months in a federal prison, or both. In addition, the motorist will lose his or her driving privileges on federal lands for one year, beginning on the date of arrest. There are no mandatory driver’s license suspensions in refusal cases under the Code of Federal Regulations. However, the motor vehicle department in the driver’s home state likely will be notified of a chemical test refusal conviction, and will suspend the driver’s license. Federal drunk driving is a charge that can result in imprisonment, fines, or both, but conviction is far from automatic. An attorney from www.NotDrunk.com skilled in defending federal DUI / DWI cases will develop an aggressive strategy designed to fight the charges and hold negative repercussions to a minimum.