You may be charged with drunk driving if you attempt to operate a vehicle while impaired in Pennsylvania. This may significantly impact your life regardless of what you do for a living. However, if you are an airline pilot, a DUI conviction may stall your career or even end it entirely.
You must report the DUI
You must file a report with the federal aviation administration (FAA) within 60 days of being charged with DUI. If you fail to do so, your pilot license may be suspended or revoked. In addition, your license may be suspended or revoked if this is your second drunk driving incident within the last three years.
You may face other penalties
Losing your pilot license may only be a part of your overall punishment if convicted of drunk or impaired driving. You may also be sentenced to jail or prison time, pay a fine or lose your driving privileges for several months or years. The exact structure of your sentence will depend on the specific facts of your case and your criminal history. For example, you may face harsher penalties if you are charged with a felony or if you have been previously convicted of DUI.
Other issues to consider
If you lose your driver’s license, you may be unable to drive to work, making it difficult to find or retain employment. After accounting for legal fees and other costs related to your DUI case, you may also find it difficult to afford a home or apartment. Other collateral penalties may also apply after being released from jail or prison, such as the need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle.
A DUI charge may cause a significant interruption to your personal or professional life. However, it may be possible to have the charge reduced or dismissed by casting doubt on evidence introduced before or during the trial. Evidence may include the results of a field sobriety test or chemical tests performed during a traffic stop.