Pilots and Alcohol

Professional pilots have lots of resources. You could:

  • talk to your union representative
  • if your company has a HIMS program, talk to your company’s HIMS Chair or Co-Chair
  • if a fellow pilot has ever talked about being in the HIMS program, or has told you that they used to drink a lot but quit, then talk to that person
  • talk to your EAP
  • talk to your Chief Pilot
  • talk to your AME
  • consult with an aviation psychiatrist

I’m a pilot. I got arrested for an alcohol traffic offense, but the charge was dropped. Do I report that?

If you get arrested for a DUI or any other traffic offense, as a commercial aviator you should alert somebody on your resource list as soon as possible.

You may also have a mandatory FAA reporting requirement.

Rule 14 CFR 61.15 does NOT require that you get convicted of a DUI or DWAI to meet the mandatory reporting requirement.

These actions, regardless of conviction, are reportable to the Securities and Investigation Division at OKC within sixty days of the offense:

  • failing any chemical test in a DUI/DWAI stop
  • refusing a chemical test in a DUI/DWAI stop
  • an administrative license revocation (in other words, if your license is revoked, for any reason, during a DUI/DWAI stop )
  • any other civil revocation of your license
  • an express-consent violation

I’m a pilot. I had a DUI conviction. What am I supposed to do? What about other convictions like a DWAI?

Your first step should be to contact somebody to get expert advice about what to do. This could be your union, an EAP, a lawyer, or the Chief Pilot’s office. Hopefully, you have already done this.

Whether it is a DUI, DWAI, or other status designated by your state, if you had a conviction of any sort (including a plea agreement) for an alcohol or drug-related traffic violation, the conviction is reportable under 61.15.

Rule 14 CFR 61.15 requires that you notify Securities and Investigation at OKC within sixty days of a conviction or any administrative action. The rule says that you need to report EITHER an administrative action OR a conviction.

As it usually takes more than sixty days from the traffic stop to adjudication, if you wait until the final legal outcome of your case you are probably going to be in violation of the sixty-day rule.

DUI/DWAI Dispositions

The FAA publishes a Disposition Table for the AME about a pilot’s alcohol related traffic events. Even if not intended for the pilot, reviewing the Disposition Table helps you understand the FAA process to evaluate these cases.

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