A pilot who gets a DUI may lose multiple licenses if convicted of the charge. Depending on the circumstances, simply being taken into custody for impaired driving in California could have a serious impact on a defendant’s personal and professional lives. Of course, you will have the right to a trial or to take other actions in an effort to obtain a favorable outcome.
The impact on your flying career
If you are charged or convicted of DUI, you could be subject to discipline from the authorities responsible for issuing your flying credentials. In the event that you have been convicted of this charge in the past three years, it may result in an automatic suspension or license revocation. Furthermore, you will be unable to obtain a license if you’re pursuing one or renew your existing license in the future.
The potential legal consequences
A DUI charge may result in jail time or a license suspension before you go to trial. It’s not uncommon for impaired drivers to spend several hours in jail to sober up or to lose their license for failing to comply with implied consent laws. Implied consent laws say that you have to submit to chemical testing when asked to do so by authorities.
Otherwise, you are subject to an automatic license suspension even if you’re cleared of the impaired driving charge. If convicted, you could be sentenced to time in jail or prison or a fine. It’s also possible that you’ll be ordered to attend traffic school or install an ignition interlock device (IID) as conditions of getting your driving privileges back.
If you are charged with impaired driving, there are several strategies that may help you get it reduced or dismissed. These strategies may include casting doubt about the way a chemical test was performed or the reason for the traffic stop that led to the charge. It’s possible that evidence will be suppressed or sufficiently rebutted to result in an acquittal or a plea deal.