Pilots that are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) need to be extra cautious following the arrest on their next FAA medical certificate application. Unlike many employment applications, the FAA asks pilots whether they have been arrested for driving under the influence. Even if a pilot is later found not guilty or if the DUI is expunged, that pilot still needs to report the arrest on their next medical certificate application. The FAA considers any false answer on a medical certificate to be grounds for revoking all a pilot’s FAA-issued certificates.
Recently our law firm has assisted several pilots that were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and subsequently found either not guilty or charged with a lesser crime. Even though the DUI arrests were later invalidated, the FAA considered the arrest to be the triggering event for needing to report a DUI on a medical certificate application. When these pilots failed to report the DUI arrests on their next medical certificate applications, they ended up receiving a full revocation of their pilot certificates.
In addition to needing to report the arrest on the medical certificate application, pilots may also need to report the DUI to the FAA’s security division under certain circumstances within 60 days of a loss of driving privileges.
Pilots that are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol need to be very careful to report their arrest to the FAA on their next medical certificate application and need to carefully review the rules concerning the 60 day report to the Security Division to determine whether this requirement applies to them.
This article is intended to highlight the potential issues with the FAA medical certificate application. For additional information, please contact the attorneys at Aero Law Group PC and they will be happy to assist you.