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On June 27, 2014, a highly decorated senior military officer was arrested near Fort Dix, New Jersey, on charges of driving under the influence (DUI).

Command Sgt. Maj. Kurtis Timmer, a 53-year-old member of the 200th Military Police Command, was pulled over around 2 a.m. on Highway 206 near Southampton Township. Consider the details of the incident, as reported by the New Jersey State Police:

  • The department received a complaint about an erratic driver, and Timmer's vehicle matched the complaint's description.
  • Records indicate that Timmer refused to take a Breathalyzer test, though it's unclear whether he refused the test outright or simply failed to respond to the trooper's request.
  • Timmer was arrested and temporarily held at a local police station.

Refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer is illegal in New Jersey, resulting in automatic penalties that include fines, revocation of driving privileges for up to one year and at minimum, a 12-hour driving class. Timmer's case raises certain questions regarding DUI penalties for members of the military. But because Timmer is a soldier arrested on DUI charges by a civilian police officer, state law will govern the DUI proceeding.

While Timmer will not face a military court martial for the DUI arrest itself, he may be subject to additional administrative actions. Military law does not specifically forbid soldiers from refusing a breath test, but the military may still choose to prosecute the soldier for violating a civilian law.

If you are arrested in New Jersey under suspicion of driving under the influence, work with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and maximize your options.

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