Will a DUI Also Impact My Pilot’s License?

By September 8, 2013Thomas Law Firm

If you have a pilot’s license and you have been charged with DUI or DWAI, or have had your drivers’ license administratively revoked, then you must report the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration. Failure to report a conviction or administrative action within sixty (60) days of the event can be grounds for a formal investigation to be opened and for your pilot’s license to be revoked or suspended.

Federal regulations require all pilots, flight Instructors and ground Instructors to send a notificaiton letter to the FAA’s Security and Investigations Division within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action. If you have an administrative action taken against you by the Department of Motor Vehicles for refusing to submit to a chemical test or for allegedly failing a test by submitting a breath or blood sample above the legal limit of .08, then the administrative action triggers your duty to act by notifying the FAA of the event. You may also still have a duty to report the alcohol related driving incident (DWI, DUI, DWAI) even if the charges in court are dismissed.

The National Driver Register or NDR is a computerized database that compiles information on drivers throughout the United States. The records of individual state actions revoking or suspending driver’s licenses, or convictions of alcohol and drug related driving charges is immediately assessable to the FAA. As part of a pilot’s application or renewal of a medical certification, he or she must give the FAA a release so that it can confirm compliance through the NDR’s records. If an applicant or pilot seeking renewal of their certification is determined to have an alcohol or drug related conviction, or even a driver’s license suspension or revocation, then such person’s application may be denied or not renewed.

If you are a pilot then it is imperative that you take immediate action to properly determine whether you have a duty to notify the FAA. In some circumstances the failure to report the action of the DMV suspending, revoking or cancelling your license, or the conviction of an alcohol or drug related offense in court can cause the suspension of your certification or denial of your application for certification with the FAA for a year.

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