Flying Under the Influence

A pilot who flies an aircraft, whether commercial or private, under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be charged with flying under the influence, also known as FUI / FWI.

Accused pilots must adhere to both federal and state law, and face harsh punishment if convicted. That is why it is crucial for anyone accused of FUI / FWI to seek professional advice from an experienced New Jersey DWI / DUI defense attorney skilled in defending flying under the influence cases.

The FAA has outlined stringent laws restricting the consumption of alcohol by any crew members of commercial and private aircrafts. According to the rules, if the pilot or any crew member consumes alcohol within eight hours of a flight, works while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 percent, he or she can be charged with FUI / FWI. If convicted, the pilot faces severe penalties, fines, imprisonment, revocation of his or her pilot’s license, and loss of employment.

Pilots function under an implied consent law comparable to the regulations governing drivers of vehicles on the ground. Implied consent means that any pilot charged of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is under an implied obligation to submit to a chemical test if requested so by the proper authorities. Any pilot who declines a chemical test can be subject to a sizeable penalty and suspension or cancellation of his or her pilot’s license.

If convicted of driving under the influence, the pilot must report it to the FAA by means of the pilot’s first-class medical application, and to the Civil Action Security Division in Oklahoma City. This notification must be made within 60 days of the driving under the influence (DUI) conviction and must be submitted using the proper forms.

Failure to report a DWI / DUI charge to the FAA or the Civil Action Security Division will subject the pilot to further penalties and probation. If the pilot’s driver’s license is suspended twice in a three year period, the FAA can reject an application for a pilot’s license, or revoke a current pilot license. Not only is the pilot faced with the penalties of a DWI / DUI charge but he or she also is faced with further punishments by the FAA or the Civil Action Security Division. The authorities reason that if a pilot operates a vehicle under the influence, the pilot may also fly under the influence.

FUI / FWI convictions have severe implications and life-altering consequences. Therefore, obtaining professional legal counseling is an essential course of action for a pilot who stands to face the very serious consequences of the charge. An attorney experienced in drunk driving defense and aviation law has the skills needed to provide the best defense possible for the accused.

Please call us at Levow DWI Law, 877-593-1717, to discuss your case. You may also email us at evanlevow@newjerseydwilawyer.com .