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Drinking While Flying

We’ve all heard about driving under the influence, and most people understand the seriousness of a DWI, DUI, or OUI charge. You may have even come across cases of people operating a boat or other motor vehicle while intoxicated. One area often overlooked in these discussions – and yet perhaps the most disconcerting of all – involves flying a plane.

The worries, stereotypes, jokes, and real-life cases dealing with drunk pilots behind the wheel of a commercial aircraft obviously constitute much of our concerns as travelers. Federal regulations and those of every company licensed to fly are incredibly strict on this point, with most airlines employing some sort of hour-based limit on consumption of alcohol before takeoff. One pilot was recently dismissed for violating his major carrier’s 12-hour standard.

However, flying while drinking is not limited to these huge questions of public safety. In fact, most cases in which the pilot was found to have been intoxicated involve privately-owned and operated aircraft, usually smaller planes. Many private pilots assume that they are not posing a real threat to themselves by having a “drink or two” before taking to the skies on their own or with friends and family.

Unfortunately, this assumption is simply dead wrong. Control of an airplane, especially during the crucial moments of takeoff and landing, is a incredibly demanding task that involves total alertness and freedom from all impairment. Drinking before or during a flight is one of the most surefire recipes for disaster, not only for those on board but others on the ground and in the sky.

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If you or someone you know has been charged with a drinking-related offense, contact experienced Rhode Island DUI lawyer Matthew Marin today at 401-287-4384 for more information on defending your case.