A Petaluma man who was convicted in 2012 of flying a plane while intoxicated was arrested again in November on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the California Highway Patrol. Michael Ferrero, 65, drove his Toyota Tundra into a ditch in Petaluma. The CHP found an open bottle of vodka in the truck, and Ferrero was booked in the Sonoma County Jail for DUI and for violating his probation. If you are arrested for DUI in southern California – or for bicycling, boating, or flying under the influence – contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

Ferrero was on probation following his conviction in 2012 for flying his plane while intoxicated. He was sentenced to four days in jail, three years’ probation, thirty days of home confinement, and twenty-six days of volunteer service. Pilots and other crew members of civil aircrafts are governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Those regulations state that pilots may not fly “within 8 hours after drinking alcohol, while under the influence of alcohol, while using any drug that affects the person’s faculties in any way contrary to safety, or while having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 [percent] or greater in a blood or breath specimen.”

Under state law in California, the possible penalties for a first-offense flying-under-the-influence charge include 30 days to six months in jail and/or a fine of $250 to $1,000. Federal penalties, on the other hand, are far more severe and can include up to 15 years in a federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. California prosecutors have discretion to prosecute the crime under either state or federal law. If you’re accused of driving – or flying – under the influence in southern California, get the legal help you really need, and contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible.