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 or greater, 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 Levow DWI Law, P.C. at 877-593-1717 to discuss your case. You may also email us at

Client Reviews
This firm is arguably the best representation money can buy. Highly adept and committed, Evan makes himself available all hours of the day to provide accurate and concise answers to any questions/concerns and put your mind at ease. I was highly satisfied with the results he and his team delivered. Worth every penny. T.N.
I express my utmost gratitude to Evan Levow. When I met Evan, I was charged with a DUI, with a prior DUI 10 years ago. Before that case was over, I unfortunately received another DUI, and was now facing 180 days in jail. In both cases, Evan got the DUI's dismissed! Evan and his team demonstrate knowledge, expertise, professionalism, perseverance, and much more. There is a passion for justice in this firm and I witnessed that "fire" in Evan. Thank You so much. F.C.
You dug through the facts of my case thoroughly and found all the errors that were made by the officers. From the breathalyzer error, to the observed time error, to my condition, to my foot failing the balance test, you dug out all the facts, and I am grateful for that. I am back to my career which is a bus driver and once again thank you. D.B.