Flying Under the Influence in South Carolina

Operating or acting as flight crew member of aircraft while under influence of alcohol or drugs unlawful

South Carolina and Federal law make it illegal to fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs whether you are serving as a pilot or acting as a flight crew member, which includes pilots, engineers and navigators assigned to duty in an aircraft during flight time.

Flying Under the Influence Laws

You may be convicted of an FUI if you operate or are in control of an aircraft or act as a flight crew member of any aircraft in SC:

  • within 8 hours of alcohol consumption;
  • while under the influence of alcohol;
  • while using any drug that affects your faculties in any manner contrary to safety; or
  • if you have a .04 or higher BAC when you are operating or flying the plane.

Your consent to take a breathalyzer test is implied, like South Carolina’s boating under the influence and drunk driving laws. However, the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer are different when you are arrested for flying under the influence.

If you are convicted of controlling a plane while drunk, you will be charged separately for your refusal to take a breathalyzer, subjecting you to an additional $200.00 fine and/or not less than 48 hours in jail.

Penalties for a flying under the influence conviction include fines, jail time, increased insurance costs, modification, suspension, an amendment to and/or revocation of your airman’s certificate, and most importantly potentially irreversible damage to your professional career.

Contact a Flying Under the Influence Lawyer

If you have been arrested on suspicion of flying under the influence, you need a criminal defense attorney to ensure that you do not unknowingly waive any important rights. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a no-fee case evaluation.

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