Is a DUI a Federal Offense?

A DUI can be a federal offense.  Generally speaking, there is no federal DUI law.  However, the Assimilated Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13(a), provides for federal courts to have jurisdiction over acts committed on federal property which constitute an offense under the laws of the State in which the act was committed.  In other words, if you commit a state law offense on federal land, you can be prosecuted in federal court for that offense and be subjected to a similar punishment as provided under state law.

Therefore, a person can be arrested for DUI Federal offense or DUI offense in Columbus and prosecuted in federal court if the act was committed on federal property, such as DSCC or the Army National Guard post.  The Assimilated Crimes Act also provides that for DUI cases, in addition to any punishment authorized under State law, the defendant can be sentenced for an additional one year term of imprisonment.  Under certain circumstances involving DUI and minors, there can be additional periods of incarceration under the federal law.

While there is no federal statute prohibiting DUI, there is a federal implied consent law – 18 U.S.C. § 3118 provides that any person operating a motor vehicle in the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States impliedly consents to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine.  If the person refuses a chemical test, then they are subject to a year suspension from operating a motor vehicle upon the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.  This can have serious consequences for military personnel, or other federal employees who are required to regularly drive on federal land.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Columbus and are facing prosecution in federal court, contact an experienced DUI Attorney at (614) 454-5010.

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