How to Fight Traffic Violations on Military Bases

By Desdemona Delacroix - Updated June 15, 2017
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There are two kinds of traffic tickets you can get on a military base. One is a United States District Court Violation (DD 1805) and the other is an Armed Forces Traffic Ticket (DD 1408). The DD 1805 is a regular district court ticket like you would get anywhere else. It is issued by the military police but is enforced by the local government, and it can be given to anyone driving a non-government vehicle on a military base. A DD 1408 is given to those driving a military vehicle, or in some cases where the driver of a non-military vehicle is on active duty, a dependent of someone on active duty, a government contractor, or a government-employed civilian.

Fighting the Ticket

Make sure you were issued a ticket and not a warning. When military police on post give you a warning they will issue a DD 1408, but they will check the box that says "warning." This is not a ticket, so don't try to fight it.

If you are on active duty, notify your chain of command right away if you get an actual ticket. The chain of command will be at least your first-line supervisor and your First Sergeant. If you were issued a DD 1805, your unit may never find out, but you don't want to risk that. If you were given a DD 1408, it will go straight to your unit. If you are a dependent, inform your sponsor so he or she can talk to the chain of command. If you are a government contractor or other civilian, talk to your supervisor. You can identify the ticket by looking in the lower left-hand corner; it will say DD 1805 or DD 1408.

Request a meeting with your company commander so you can explain the situation. In the case of a DD 1408, the commander is the one who makes the decision on your punishment. You may be able to avoid punishment if you speak to the commander before the ticket gets to the unit.

Take the ticket to the base Judge Advocate General (JAG) office if you or your sponsor are on active duty. JAG is the military legal office that assists active duty service members for free, either by giving advice on legal matters or by representing them in court. If there are special or questionable circumstances regarding your ticket, JAG may help you fight the ticket.

Show up in court to fight a DD 1805. This is a regular traffic ticket that is enforced by the city or county where the base is. The military police will coordinate with the local court, so be prepared to see them the day you go to court to argue your case.

Tip

Possible consequences of a traffic ticket issued on post include points against your license, points against your on-post driving record, suspension of your driving privileges, punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and mandatory driving classes.

If you are not a habitual offender, you (or your sponsor) will most likely receive a counseling statement from the chain of command and the issue will be dropped.

About the Author

Desdemona Delacroix has been working as a freelance author in her spare time since 2000, writing short do-it-yourself and current events articles. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Maryland University College, and she occasionally offers tutoring services in writing to undergraduate college students.

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