Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. is a trusted full-service law firm that has been providing an eclectic mix of legal services to a wide array of clients throughout the great state of Minnesota since 1980. As such, today’s blog post is primarily going to focus on the needs of a particular subset of the population here in St. Paul and Minneapolis: airplane pilots. You see, aviation law is one of our specialties and we know that it can be a tricky subject for the layperson to understand. The big question we’ll be exploring is, can the FAA revoke a pilot's license after a DWI charge and/or conviction? Stay tuned to get the answer. In the meantime, if you are ready to schedule your consultation for top-notch legal counsel of any kind, you can call our office at 651-504-3752 to get connected to us right away. Alternatively, you can contact us online at any point.
What happens after driving under the influence?
It’s no secret that a DUI can have long-lasting aftereffects. This is especially true when the person charged is a licensed pilot. After all, fairly or not, in this line of work, your professional reputation is typically tied to a track record of good choices and sound judgement. Still, sometimes the pressure that goes along with being a conscientious pilot while on the job necessitates a little release when you are off the clock. When you have a team of highly regarded attorneys on your side, it will be easier to demonstrate that your one unfortunate and uncharacteristic indiscretion is exactly that. While the contributing factors and ultimate outcomes are not ever going to be exactly the same, you have a responsibility to disclose whatever did go down. In fact, the FAA requires pilots to report drug and alcohol-related motor vehicle actions to the agency's Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Office, Regulatory Investigations Division as soon as possible so that they can begin to review the incident. Accordingly, this is the first thing that should happen. Don’t worry, we’ll be here to help you take all the appropriate steps that will lead to the best possible outcome for your career. From our offices in Eagan, we can challenge your DUI or DWI charges in Dakota County, the Twin Cities area, and elsewhere within the state of Minnesota.
How will a DWI affect my Aviation Medical Exam?
There is no cut and dried answer to how a DWI conviction will impact an aviation medical exam. Here’s the thing: as a licensed pilot you will most certainly have to answer to your company as well as to the Federal Aviation Administration for your actions. And it is true that a pilot can be denied an aviation medical certificate on account of a DUI/DWI conviction, which will effectively ground their career. Even if that doesn’t happen in your case, your company’s HR policies may be quite strict when it comes to alcohol use and felonies. This is why you will want to partner with the best DUI attorneys around to fight your charge with the goal of keeping your record clean.
What if it is my first DWI?
Looking on the bright side, a pilot’s first (and only) DUI is not necessarily enough of a reason for an aviation medical examiner or the FAA to deny a medical certificate. However, you must follow the precise steps for disclosure and demonstrate that this situation is not indicative of who you are as a person and a professional. Again, the best thing you can do is align yourself with a knowledgeable DUI attorney to help you sort things out and put your best foot forward, so to speak. Our renowned defense lawyers Jeffrey Sheridan and Randall Kins are going to know exactly what to do in your case.
What happens if I have more than one DWI?
We aren’t going to sugarcoat it. Pilots who have picked up more than one DUI conviction will have problems with keeping an aviation medical certificate. This, not surprisingly, is because the FAA tends to see this as proof that there is more of an underlying problem, like addiction. As such, you'll really be under the microscope during your review. This makes it even more important to have the best defense team on your side. Our attorneys are prepared to challenge every charge. We aren’t looking to cut a deal on your behalf. And we are very experienced in all aspects of DUI/DWI charges including drug-related DWIs, repeat offenses, high-profile DWIs, cases involving underage offenders, and how to put breath and urine testing in proper context.
Should I hire a DWI Attorney?
Yes! Like we said at the onset of this post, the many laws and regulations pertaining to pilots convicted of DUI are not always easy to make sense of on your own. And no matter what you are up against, hiring a lawyer is the one thing that you can do to fight back. Just because you were handcuffed and hauled off, doesn’t mean that they automatically win and you lose. We have found that DWI accusations and tests can always be challenged, and in many cases penalties can also be minimized and charges can be dropped completely. If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you shouldn’t put off contacting a lawyer who can explain the ins and outs of both state and federal aviation law and will be here to help you build a strong defense.
When can I get started?
Right away! When you trust your case to us, you can immediately begin to consult with legal counsel who are well-versed in the area of DUI and pilots. We would be proud to be your advocates and defenders, and with free consultations, you literally have nothing to lose by taking the first step. So, give our Egan, Minnesota law office a call today at [phone] to get started on your defense. You can also contact Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. online if you have questions about your DWI or aviation-related problems.