ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 30th, 2013 at 2:42 am

CSM Mahoney On DUI’s In Korea

» by in: USFK

The subject of DUIs in USFK is one I have often brought up because there is absolutely no reason why anyone should get a DUI in Korea with the various mass transit and taxi options available to servicemembers:

Judging by how few views this service announcement is getting few people are going to hear CSM Mahoney’s advice via YouTube, but it should be small unit commanders consistently reminding troops of the consequences of a DUI in Korea.

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  • guitard
    6:56 am on January 30th, 2013 1

    The CSM says the penalties are severe . . . but are they? Read the ROK criminal prosecution results and look at the number of guys who get busted for DUI and get off with 1,000,000 Won fines. And guess what? For the purposes of civilian driving records – those convictions don’t follow them back to the US.

  • Daleran
    3:40 pm on January 30th, 2013 2

    Yeah, the ROK will let you off easy. But in today’s army its the being chaptered out the military or an effective career ender that will get you. Also keep in mine that the only people in cars in Korea are E7 and above or younger soldiers who brought their families with them.

  • Hamilton
    5:00 pm on January 30th, 2013 3

    #1, with that fine you get a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand at the minimum in your permanent file.

    No more promotions, reenlistments, schools or retention when that board meets.

  • Ole Tanker
    5:57 pm on January 30th, 2013 4

    #3 I hope the Army system has got better than the old days.
    I knew 2 guys who got DUI’s stateside back in the 90′s.
    Both got Letters of Reprimand, well officially, they both told me that the Letters never got put in their Official records.
    Both went on to retire.

    Being KOOREA!! I wouldn’t be surprised if something got missed, on accident of course:)

  • guitard
    6:28 pm on January 30th, 2013 5

    Yeah, the ROK will let you off easy. But in today’s army its the being chaptered out the military or an effective career ender that will get you. Also keep in mine that the only people in cars in Korea are E7 and above or younger soldiers who brought their families with them.

    #1, with that fine you get a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand at the minimum in your permanent file.

    No more promotions, reenlistments, schools or retention when that board meets.

    I’m not saying you get off scott free. My point is – if you get busted for DUI in the States – you get hammered by both the civil justice system AND the military.

    And I almost forgot to mention – Uncle Sam pays for your civilian lawyer in Korea. So on top of receiving a smaller fine – you don’t have to pay the legal bill.

    If you’re a good troop, and you can get your leadership to back you, you can survive a DUI. It’s gonna hurt, and it’s gonna hurt bad. But there are guys who survive and are able to finish their careers.

  • jim
    7:24 pm on January 30th, 2013 6

    #4, can’t tell you how many promotion packets have been lost over here. don’t confuse “accident” with piss-poor management.

  • MrEvidence
    7:34 am on January 31st, 2013 7

    #1 Yes, convictions of DUI/DWI overseas USUALLY don’t follow you back to the States and your civilian driving record, however, IF the unit/Legal personel did their job and followed the regulation, it WOULD go back to your State driving record. How do I know? Fell victim to the overseas low BAC of .03 in Japan (.05 on post) and took a hit on my career with the General Officer LOR in my official records, but kept my rank and retired 4 years later, happier than ever! :) Believe it or not, got stopped LEAVING post during a random check of every 10th vehicle or whatever leaving post. Crappiest thing of it all was the installation CSM was driving his car in front of me and of course, he didnt get stopped and he was LIT UP! He had been at our Dining In and stayed in teh club afterwards drinking. I had gone home for 2 hours, only had drank 2 beers at the Dining In, and still blew a .056! Not making excuses but if the legal limit in the States is going to be .08 than enough said…got it, got to abide by the countries laws you reside in but .05 in Korea, .03 in Japan, come on! Gargle too much Listerine and have an MP put you on the Breathylyer 2000 and BAM! Over the limit! Sure, they TRY to wait the 30 minutes before testing you but its all a farce….than the military reg is so ate up, even if you request a blood test they dont have to acknolwedge your request. In the States, MOST Judges would throw out the charge if an Officer failed to get your blood tested as you requested. Lastly, I saw throughout my career, at military balls, dining In’s, etc…officers and NCOs of all ranks drink alcohol and get in their car and drive home afterwards no problem, why? Because the MPs didnt stop anyone! Wouldnt you think they would stop cars leaving events like that??? Nah! Too much work! Stop DWI/DUIs so nobody gets hurt or killed, but abide by the regulations as well…..

  • guitard
    8:00 am on January 31st, 2013 8

    Maybe it’s based on some sort of an international agreement – and DUIs in some countries do follow you back, but in other countries they don’t follow you. I’ve never heard of it happening from a DUI in Korea and the main reason I don’t think it follows you is based on a soldier I know of who got marijuana mailed to him through the MPS. Him and a buddy got busted for international trafficking in dope when the Korean police caught them selling it off-base. They spent several months in a Korean prison and got kicked out of the Army – but the Korean criminal records did not follow them back to the US.

  • Bob
    2:15 am on February 1st, 2013 9

    I think the DUI should only count stateside if it went above legal limits in the states. I know another individual that got busted in Korea and he was just above .05. Actually got caught coming home from a ball where he said he had about 3 beers early on, and then switched to water for the remaining 2 hrs he was there.

  • Kangaji
    8:26 am on February 1st, 2013 10

    #7: I’ve found that is everyone is doing the wrong thing there’s eventually a crack down where sfit rolls downhill.

  • Kangaji
    8:27 am on February 1st, 2013 11

    #7: I’ve found that if is everyone is doing the wrong thing and getting away with it there’s eventually a crack down where sfit rolls downhill…

  • Emily
    3:13 pm on May 31st, 2014 12

    I need help !!! My hub and recently got in trouble over in Korea ! He stole a taxi while intoxicated an wrecked it ! No one was injured or got hurt ! An was never breathalyzer ! My question is , is it a good possibility he will serve jail time , get kicked out the army ? He is A very good soldier an everyone talks so highly of him ! Said that he is one of the best they have worked with ! I’m stateside . An right now he is on international hold . How long do the courts usually take ? He is suppose to be home in July . So scared for him ! Any answer or advice would help !

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:43 pm on May 31st, 2014 13

    12. I think you need to use past tense: He WAS a good soldier and everyone TALKED highly of him, until he stole a taxi while intoxicated an wrecked it.

    SGT T. is very likely screwed. I doubt he’ll do serious jail time if he pays the taxi company off. Probably a year or less but he’ll be looking for a job.

    What sort of help are you looking for or expect would help? Are there some sort of extenuating circumstances?

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    3:59 pm on May 31st, 2014 14

    Similar stories:

    If no one was hurt or assaulted, it helps his case but he’ll likely be back home to you, possibly with a bad conduct discharge, and a couple grand out of pocket.

    He will also likely lose his security clearance. which will screw a former signal soldier if trying to get a contractor or DoD job of any kind…

  • Emily
    5:35 pm on May 31st, 2014 15

    No one was hurt . How long do court proceedings last ?

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    5:41 pm on May 31st, 2014 16

    15. If he doesn’t fight it, admits guilt, pays the money, apologizes, etc. it can be pretty quick. Of course he still has to deal with the army side of it.

    Is he in Korean jail or did the Koreans release him back to the army (it is their choice)?

  • Emily
    5:44 pm on May 31st, 2014 17

    Released him .

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    5:49 pm on May 31st, 2014 18

    17. Good sign but now that we are transitioning back to a peace time army, his career is likely over. He would be very lucky if can stay in but he may not rise above E-7. He will be referred to ASAP and all that fun stuff.

    Remember, one oh shit erases all prior at-a-boys. Especially one like this.

  • Emily
    5:51 pm on May 31st, 2014 19

    I’m worried about a dishonorable .

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    6:35 pm on May 31st, 2014 20

    19. Likely less than honorable/other than honorable. Drawing a Dishonorable is pretty hard and actually quite rare (usually something along the lines of murder). But anything below a general isn’t good for future employment.

    The sad truth is any type of IT related experience in the army usually isn’t much good in the civilian sector, unless you get a job with DoD or a civilian company who works with DoD. Without a security clearance, forget it.

    He *might* get lucky, but the CG at 2ID has a low tolerance for bullshit. I can assure you the 3 Star at EUSA and the 4 Star at USFK already know about this (if not the PACOM CG in Hawaii). If this hits the Korean media and becomes a big fiasco, the command will have no choice but to make an example of him – the punishment will be worse than it would have been if it were kept quiet. Welcome to the world of international politics.

    As far as jail time, the US could still decide to turn him back over to the Koreans if he is convicted in Korean court. I’ve seen soldiers do worse and get a big fine, suspended sentence and kicked out of country. At that point the army will decide how to add on some more punishment either a straight discharge or some jail time then a discharge.

    Honorable Discharge
    If a military service member received a good or excellent rating for their service time, by exceeding standards for performance and personal conduct, they will be discharged from the military honorably. An honorable military discharge is a form of administrative discharge.

    General Discharge
    If a service member’s performance is satisfactory but the individual failed to meet all expectations of conduct for military members, the discharge is considered a general discharge. To receive a general discharge from the military there has to be some form of nonjudicial punishment to correct unacceptable military behavior. A general military discharge is a form of administrative discharge.

    Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge
    The most severe type of military administrative discharge is the Other Than Honorable Conditions. Some examples of actions that could lead to an Other Than Honorable Discharge include security violations, use of violence, conviction by a civilian court with a sentence including prison time, or being found guilty of adultery in a divorce hearing (this list is not a definitive list; these are only examples). In most cases, veterans who receive an Other Than Honorable Discharge cannot re-enlist in the Armed Forces or reserves, except under very rare circumstances. Veteran’s benefits are not usually available to those discharged through this type of discharge.

    Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD)
    The Bad Conduct Discharge is only passed on to enlisted military members and is given by a court-martial due to punishment for bad conduct. A Bad Conduct discharge is often preceded by time in military prison. Virtually all veteran’s benefits are forfeited if discharged due to Bad Conduct.

    Dishonorable Discharge
    If the military considers a service members actions to be reprehensible, the general court-martial can determine a dishonorable discharge is in order. Murder and sexual assault are examples of situations which would result in a dishonorable discharge. If someone is dishonorably discharged from the military they are not allowed to own firearms according to US federal law. Military members who receive a Dishonorable Discharge forfeit all military and veterans benefits and may have a difficult time finding work in the civilian sector.

    In summary, if he gets lower than a general discharge and loses his security clearance (whether he goes to jail or not), well let’s just say we must hope they raise the minimum wage.

    My advice (assuming it went down as described and was just a drunk stupid stunt) having lived in Korea many years:

    Plead guilty to everything, reach out to the taxi driver/company and offer to pay (start out around $2000 but be ready to negotiate up to $5000)
    Prepare to also pay a fine between $2000-$5000 – depending if they got him for DUI on top of the taxi theft.

    Apologize, admitting he was very drunk (this is important! In Korea, drunk is a valid excuse).

    Prepare to deal with the military repercussions. If the command hasn’t already referred him to the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) he needs to self refer, well, er, ASAP!

  • Smokes
    6:46 pm on May 31st, 2014 21

    This guy actually deserves a dishonorable after serving time. Come to another country and pull junk like this? Your husband is a bad soldier, you need to cut ties while you can and find an adult to be with.

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    7:11 pm on May 31st, 2014 22

    21. While getting drunk and stealing a cab is stupid, I do not believe that rises to murder and sexual assault level. It’s attitudes like that which contribute to us having more people in prison in our “free” United States than “communist” China has in theirs.

    I’m certain this NCO has done rotations to combat zones, collecting valuable experience, and the army has invested a great deal of time and money in him. Were it up to me, assuming he has otherwise performed as an exemplar soldier and NCO, I’d knock him down to private, give him hard labor for 90 days (with forfeiture of all pay and allowances) and have him apologize and make restitution to the victim. I would then return him to duty and give him the chance to start over and redeem himself. He might one day turn out to be a SGM with a story to tell and cautionary tale to spread. At least it once worked that way.

    But not in ‘Merica. You f@ck up we want blood and you must be ruined FOREVER! It’s what Jesus would do.

  • Smokes
    8:49 pm on May 31st, 2014 23

    Did you just paint me as one of those dudes? That’s like saying CH hates trannies.

    First off drunk schmunk, you know that. Anyhow this guy didn’t just steal someone’s vehicle, he stole it and smashed it up, into what who knows? Maybe more of other people’s stuff. So on a basic human level he has no respect for other people’s property (and livelyhood in the cabbie’s case). Fully knowing mi-pal-gun’s under the mother of all microscopes here he went and did something ridiculously stupid outside the wire.

    We all sit here b1tching about how the shotgun punishments they use don’t work and how the few cause the many to be punished. Well you know what does work, bringing the ever-loving hammer down on someone to send the message that it won’t stand.

    I know this works for a fact. 1992 I was somewhere between 20 to 40 seconds late for our first formation in AIT, you know what I got? You know what I got baby 30/30… you know what everyone else in the company got? The message.

    Sure they were a bit quick on sending people to ye ole carpet back in the day so I’m not saying to do this for paultry junk but guys like this guy, he’s a nail waiting for a hammer.

  • guitard
    12:37 am on June 1st, 2014 24

    LL wrote:

    Apologize, admitting he was very drunk (this is important! In Korea, drunk is a valid excuse).

    But don’t stop there. Pile it on. With the utmost sincerity.

    Start off by saying it has been an honor serving in KOREA working hand-in-hand with the ROK military in defense of this great nation. Say you know what you did was stupid and reckless and potentially very harmful to KOREAN society and KOREA-US relations. It’s important to work the Korea angle into it.

    And BEG for forgiveness. A few tears are an added bonus. Tell them what this has done to your career and family; mention that you have a wife and X number of kids – all of whom are going to be directly affected by this.

    A judge in an American court will stare at you with one of those “cut the BS already” looks – and then hammer you. But a Korean judge will actually take all that into consideration and if you are really lucky, he might cut your sentence and/or fine in half.

    The worst thing you can do is cop a “let’s just get this over with” attitude and not try to plead your case while putting on a dejected face and showing bad body language.

    You’ll be working through an interpreter – probably a young Korean woman. Do not address her when responding to the prosecutor or judge – look at the person to whom you’re responding. And even though everything is going through the interpreter, speak appropriately, i.e., “Yes your honor,” instead of simply saying, “Yes.”

    The prosecutor is going to ask for the max and he’s going to say a lot of bad things about you. He’s just doing his job – so just take all that in stride and stick to the plan of sincerely pleading your case.

    Lastly, wear a suit if they allow you to do that, be clean shaven, and have a fresh haircut.

  • Dave
    1:37 am on June 1st, 2014 25

    Got me thinking- If Justin Bieber did this in the US, would he be deported back to Canada?

  • ChickenHead
    3:05 am on June 1st, 2014 26

    “Got me thinking- If Justin Bieber did this in the US, would he be deported back to Canada?”

    If you subscribed to ChickenHead’s patented Justin Bieber Avoidance Service, it could be a possibility.

    Note: Beware of shysters peddling fake Justin Bieber avoidance scams. I’m sure they will pop up soon enough promoting their useless snake oil.

  • MTB Rider
    3:27 am on June 1st, 2014 27

    Really? Snake Oil? You slander me, Sir! And I shall have satisfaction!

    Did Justin Bieber crash my secure area atop Wangbangsan? No! He never approached within 1000m from my Justin Bieber Free Zone. What he did was get drunk and threw up all over the front of the Chicken Head facilities, then polluted the air with his caterwauling. Chicken Head himself was entirely out of league in dealing with the Biebster.

    You have choice of location, but I choose weapons. Double ended d1ldos at 3 meters. I will cvckslap the taste out of your mouth, Sir!

  • ChickenHead
    6:02 am on June 1st, 2014 28

    You stand no chance, sir.

    My double ended d1ldo has ripples and some of those little French tickler tendrils on one end.

    You will be begging for Bieber to show up and save you before I am done.

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    6:16 am on June 1st, 2014 29

    Liz, you forgot one part, if he’s goin g all-in as you suggest, finish up with a boisterous KAPSHI KAPSHIDA!

  • ChickenHead
    6:42 am on June 1st, 2014 30

    Hell of a way to get a CAB.

  • Jinro Dukkohbi
    9:22 am on June 1st, 2014 31

    After this *and* the Caribbean Bay mess, I see some Okinawa-style lockdown coming down for 2ID, if not all of EUSA…

  • Amy
    12:50 pm on June 2nd, 2014 32

    What’s the likly hood of someone going to jail over that ? What if he has the money to pay the fines ?

  • MTB Rider
    4:29 pm on June 2nd, 2014 33

    The Korean courts usually DON’T send Americans to jail, unless someone was hurt, killed or raped. Since it was just vehicle and property damage, he will most likely get a fine, restitutuin and a suspended sentence.

    In fact, MOST court cases end in a fine and suspended sentence, simply because there are not enough beds in the prison system for everyone who gets involved in a dust-up.

  • Avatar of Leon LaPorteLeon LaPorte
    5:14 pm on June 2nd, 2014 34

    33. Korean prisons are not ran as for profit corporations. Korea does not have the prison culture of the US and the people are not of the hard core eye for an eye, lock them up forever mindset prevalent in the US, especially if you slide them some blood money.

  • Amy
    11:21 am on June 3rd, 2014 35

    What’s a suspended sentence ?

  • MTB Rider
    1:16 pm on June 3rd, 2014 36

    “What’s a suspended sentence ?”

    The judge can sentence someone to prison, then release the person to go home. If they commit another crime, and get caught, they have to serve the time from the original sentence, as well as the time sentenced from the new crime.

  • Amy
    1:43 pm on June 4th, 2014 37

    I hope he doesn’t get kicked out !

  • MTB Rider
    6:11 pm on June 4th, 2014 38

    Hard to say. The Army is entering “Zero Defect” mode. Little stuff is getting junior soldiers kicked out, and bigger stuff is getting senior people kicked out.

    That said, the Army SOMETIMES will look at the “Whole Picture.” How long the guy has been in, what sort of soldeir he has been, family needs, etc. It can be a craap shoot.

    Everyone knows of the terminal screw-up who keeps getting chance after chance after chance but the military keeps him in, while a “good guy” gets gets booted after one honest mistake. I’ve seen it go both ways, as have most of the military folks who post here.


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