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How a DUI impacts a pilot’s career

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2023 | Criminal Law

One of the benefits of being a pilot is that you could start your day in Massachusetts and end it on the other side of the country. However, if you are charged or convicted of drunk driving, your license to fly may be suspended or revoked. Other penalties, such as a fine or jail time may also apply.

You must report the incident

If you are charged with drunk driving, you must report that fact to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within 60 days. Failing to do so could result in the loss of your flying privileges. You may also be at risk of losing your license if you report the incident to a local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) instead to the FAA. If you have been charged with drunk driving in the past three years, the FAA may revoke your license or deny your application for reinstatement, regardless of the outcome of your case.

You might not be able to drive

Even if you don’t lose your right to fly, you may not have the right to drive for several months after a DUI conviction. You may also have your license suspended if you fail to comply with implied consent laws. Implied consent laws require you to comply with a chemical test if asked to take one. Penalties associated with violating implied consent laws are typically enforced even if you’re cleared of a drunk driving charge.

If you are facing a DUI charge, it may be possible to have it reduced or dismissed altogether. This may be done by casting doubt on evidence used to justify the case against you. If your charges are downgraded or dismissed, you may be able to continue your flying career.