Aviation Law Articles

F.A.A. Reaction to DUI – Don’t Drive and Lie

Of course, you know you shouldn’t drink and drive, it is dangerous and against the law. Nevertheless, some people indiscriminately do drink and drive and get caught with a D.U.I. conviction. If that person happens to be a certified pilot, he or she has additional problems.

You see, sooner or later, the F.A.A. will find out through the nationwide law enforcement sharing arrangement the federal government has with every state. There are reporting requirements pilots have. First, pursuant to F.A.R. 61.15, the certificate holder must notify the F.A.A. of a motor vehicle action within 60 days of occurrence. Second, when the F.A.A. medical application form is filled out, the pilot must answer whether he or she has any driver related offenses. If the airman answers “no” when he or she should have checked “yes,” the F.A.A. will process an enforcement action to suspend or revoke both the airman’s pilot and medical certificates, for presumptively and knowingly misrepresenting information to the F.A.A. (lying).

Routinely, the medical certificate is revoked for one year and the pilot certificate is suspended for at least six months, after negotiation with F.A.A. counsel and Oklahoma City F.A.A. medical divisions. This could put the kibosh on your flying career or, at least, keep you from being “P.I.C.” for some time. Also, Oklahoma City may want proof that you have gone through an alcohol rehabilitation program and, perhaps, more. So, the next time you think of drinking and driving, don’t. Do not make matters worse by failing to report the incident in a timely manner and on your next medical application.
by Richard T. Miller, Specialist in Aviation Law – (818) 994-8234