A Premiere Rhode Island Law Firm

Airline pilots and DUI charges in Rhode Island

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Getting a DUI in Rhode Island has serious consequences. But when an airline pilot gets a DUI, it can ruin their career and cause them to lose their professional license. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has alcohol and drug regulations regarding airline pilots.

FAA and DUI regulations

A pilot facing a DUI charge must report the incident to the FAA. By law, the pilot has up to 60 days after the incident to make the report to the FAA. Once the pilot reports the DUI, the FAA begins investigating the incident.

The FAA investigation will determine if the pilot has violated any FAA regulations. The FAA will determine which actions to take if regulations have been violated. In addition to facing possible punishment from the FAA, the pilot still has to deal with the courts and the DUI charge.

Possible FAA consequences

The FAA will consider the severity of the case and the pilot’s history. But the pilot’s license is at risk of getting revoked or suspended. The FAA might also require the pilot to attend an alcohol rehabilitation program and regular alcohol and drug testing.

Additionally, the pilot could have their flying privileges restricted. For example, the FAA might prohibit the pilot from flying at night or with passengers. And that would end an airline pilot’s career.

Pilots and DUI standards

A DUI is serious because it puts lives at risk. However, a pilot is often held to a higher standard regarding alcohol and drug use. A pilot flying a plane while under the influence can do significantly more damage than a person driving a vehicle. Neither situation is safe, and both can cause devastation and loss of life. But a plane crash has the potential to cause a disaster.

A pilot must avoid anything that endangers their ability to fly. This includes getting a DUI while driving a vehicle or flying a plane under the influence. Not only can this end a career, but it can also end countless lives.