Drunk driving penalties for pilots in Louisiana

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

The crime of driving while under the influence is treated very seriously in the state of Louisiana. However, under certain circumstances, those who are convicted may face extra penalties. This is true when it comes to pilots. If you are a pilot facing DUI charges in Louisiana, you should be aware of what you are up against.

DUI charges in Louisiana

First, it’s good to understand the consequences for all drivers in Louisiana regarding DUI convictions. If your criminal defense does not prevail, these penalties can include:

  • 10 days to 6 months in jail
  • $300 to $1,000 in fines
  • a possible license suspension

The penalties can also increase based on the number of prior convictions. From the third conviction, the penalties can include:

  • 1 to 5 years in jail
  • a $2,000 fine
  • a license suspension until the completion of treatment and probation

Penalties for pilots

Pilots who are arrested for DUI in Louisiana can face extra penalties that can greatly harm their career. After any DUI arrest in any state, pilots are expected to immediately report the charge to their employers as well as the Federal Aviation Administration. As the case proceeds, that pilot in question will be grounded until a conclusion is reached in court.

If convicted, the pilot will be automatically fired from any major airline in the United States. The FAA may also take the step of denying that pilot their aviation medical certificate. The pilot’s career will be over as flying without this certificate is illegal in the United States. In some cases, the FAA may not take this step. However, it will under certain conditions, such as:

  • multiple arrests or convictions for drunk driving
  • the pilot’s blood alcohol level was more than 15 percent
  • appropriate documentation was not sent to the FAA within two weeks

Overall, DUI is a very serious charge. This is especially the case if you are a pilot. If you are not guilty, make sure to fight the charge in court with proper legal representation.


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