DUI, career killer?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Anonymous, Oct 7, 2019.

?

Future of my career

  1. Continue training

  2. Find another job for some years

  3. Career killer

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm overall new to flying but I've been around the forums enough to know how often the subject of DUI's come up in discussion and peoples differing opinions on them. I'm 23, recently graduated from college, have almost 100 hours in helicopters working toward my commercial license.

    About 6 months ago I made by far the worst mistake of my life, went out with some friends and got arrested for DUI on the way home, ended up getting reduced to a reckless driving conviction with 6 months license suspension in that state (not the state I live), and I reported it to the FAA within 60 days. I am fully aware of the dangers my actions posed on others and myself, I am very thankful nobody was hurt as a result of my decision to drive that night and I take 100% responsibility for my poor decision. I have spend countless hours analyzing and over analyzing my character, and what I can do different in the future. In no way am I expecting or suggesting remorse or forgiveness for my actions, I have more than learned my lesson from this incident.

    With that being said, I'm looking for some answers on how this will affect my flying career. I have seen other similar posts with mixed opinions. Some say it's a career killer (fair enough I understand the perspective of employers and insurance companies). I have also seen plenty of people saying they know pilots with a DUI, and 1 DUI is something you can get over if you put time between you and the offense, showing that you have changed from it. This would be great if the incident were 7 years in the past, however it was less than a year ago so I don't have anything to show potential employers that I've changed other than my word.

    Ultimately my questions are:
    Should I continue my training and expect an employer to be understanding when it comes time for an interview?

    Do I need to do something else for some years to put enough time between myself and my actions before an employer will potentially consider me?

    Or is it really the career killer and I should move on to pursue another career because my character has shown I can't be trusted when it comes to decision making?



    I want to stress that I'm not looking for "the answer I want to hear" I'm looking for what you guys think is the realistic truth. If this means I need to find a different career so be it, I'm aware this might very well be the consequence of my actions.

    Thanks
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lots of folks with DUIs in the industry, and frankly most industries, with the enforcement ever going up and limit being pushed down those numbers likely will go up as time goes on. If people honestly cared about stopping drunk driving they’d just make it a smart and easy 8hrs bottle to throttle.

    So end of the day your issue is a misdemeanor reckless driving and your license was never suspended, just your privilege to drive in some random state?
     
  3. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    You're being hired for a job that's not about skill, but about judgement. By the time you have the certificates and prerequisite flight time for a given job, the assumption is that you know how to fly. The flight hours show two things: that you've been exposed to experiences beyond the training world, and that you've demonstrated reasonable judgement to make it that far without crashes/violations. A DUI certainly causes an employer to question your judgement. In a worker's job market, an employer may be willing to give you a shot. In an employer's job market, where there are stacks of qualified candidates for any given job, an employer might not bother to give your resume a second glance. Ironically, it's probably easier to weather a DUI when you're already employed (particularly for union flying jobs). Otherwise, the farther in the past, the better.

    Also, you will have to navigate the DUI issue when your medical comes up. The FAA is going to want to know details about the event, BACs, supporting statements, etc. Search the forum, an infinite number of threads on it. Hopefully the end result will be a "go forth and sin no more" letter from the DC.
     
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  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thanks for the reply, Yeah misdemeanor B in a neighboring state. I'll get it expunged in 7 years when I can
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OP should also change the title from DUI to reckless driving as that’s how it was settled :dunno:


    That said if you F’ up again on record, it likely will go poorly job wise.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    This is true but the consensus from what I've seen so far is if it's your first offense they'll generally let it by as long as you report it on the medical and notify the FAA within 60 days of the administrative action (which I did)

    As far as the title, I think "arrested for DUI, convicted of reckless" is more often than not looked at as "DUI but you were smart enough to get a lawyer" by an employer especially when I need to explain the situation in an interview. Also since I posted as a guest I'm not sure I have the ability to edit the original post
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It didn't do Randy Babbitt any good and he beat the charges. Too bad. He'd have been a good administrator.
     
  8. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Expunged is irrelevant at the Federal level. Sorry.
     
  9. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I know a pilot at UPS with a ‘careless driving’ conviction, may of been ‘reckless’. I don’t think it has to be a career ender.

    You at least need some time, and NEVER add another similar conviction. Get your history spotless in every area you can. I would continue forward & stack up what you can to offset the infraction.

    Truth be known, many of us without a DUI could of easily gotten one back in the day. Yes, I plan ahead with such things now.

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...ursue-a-flight-career-with-a-dui.58751/page-3
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  10. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    Well, more technically as in the other thread, FAA instructions are to report expunged convictions. There is some possible legal basis to challenge that in the right case. However, since it has already been reported to the FAA, that does not matter for the OP.
     
  11. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It depends, what BAC did you blow? Did you refuse to blow? It's not about the conviction, it's about the arrest.
     
  12. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    So you don’t have a DUI conviction you have reckless driving, which for the most part is a violation in most places, at most a low grade misdemeanor. The only thing that matters is the conviction. I have seen records for people arrested for felony assault, bumped down to harassment.
     
  13. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    So maybe 8hours from Ketel to pedal rule??:D:D
     
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  14. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anyone in that position knows that anything like that is a career-killer, period. The outcome doesn't matter. Which is why you don't put yourself in that position in such a high-profile public role.
     
  15. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    No true. It's not just the conviction; it's the arrest and or conviction. From the Medxpress guidance:

    Arrest, Conviction and/or Administrative Action History – Letter (v) of this subheading asks if you have ever been: (1) arrested and/or convicted (which may include paying a fine, or forfeiting bond or collateral) of an offense involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or (2) arrested, convicted and/or subject to an administrative action by a state or other jurisdiction for an offense for which your license was denied, suspended, cancelled, or revoked or which resulted in attendance at an educational or rehabilitation program. Individual traffic arrests and/or convictions are not required to be reported if they did not involve: alcohol or a drug; suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of driving privileges; or attendance at an educational or rehabilitation program. If “yes” is checked, a description of the arrest(s), and/or conviction(s), and/or administrative action(s) must be given in the EXPLANATIONS box. The description must include: (1) the alcohol or drug offense for which you were arrested and/or convicted or the type of administrative action involved (e.g., attendance at an alcohol treatment program in lieu of conviction; license denial, suspension, cancellation, or revocation for refusal to be tested; educational safe driving program for multiple speeding arrests and/or convictions, etc.); (2) the name of the state or other jurisdiction involved; and (3) the date of the arrest(s), and/or convictions and/or administrative action(s). The FAA may check state motor vehicle driving licensing records to verify your responses. Letter (w) of this subheading asks if you have ever had any other (nontraffic) convictions (e.g., assault, battery, public intoxication, robbery, etc.). If so, name the charge for which you were convicted and the date of the conviction in the EXPLANATIONS box. See NOTE below.

    Notice the "have you ever" section bolded above. You can expunge a conviction, you cannot expunge an arrest. Even if a cop arrests you for a DUI after blowing .01 because you ****ed him off, you still have to report it.
     
  16. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Hard to determine without knowing the state, but is very unlikely you can get a traffic charge expunged from a driving record.
     
  17. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    Pffttt....do what Cartman would do. The odds of being caught are almost non-existent.
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    State was New Hampshire
    BAC was below .15

    I understand federally it can't be expunged and will always have to be reported on the medical. My point with getting it expunged is that usually employers are only allowed to ask about convictions (depends on the state, I don't know which states have this law or not). NH for a first offense allows you to expunge a DUI arrest and a reckless driving conviction. Thus after 7 years I will legally be able to answer "no" when an employer asks about my conviction history. Although it will always have to be reported at the medical yes.
     
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Before you go down that road, I suggest you speak to an attorney. If you were arrested, the State of NH most likely forwarded the details of that arrest to NCIC - FBI. Even though your arrest will be expunged from the NH criminal data, it will never be expunged from the FBI data. At some point, you may apply to an employer who asks for a criminal history check after you applied.

    Court records are downloaded every week via the web and somebody on the web has your DUI info and will readily sell inexpensively to an employer. That data is never expunged.

    It is also not uncommon for employers to obtain driving records as part of employment process. They have reason to. Pilots with poor driving records statistically have higher accident rates. People will hire people who made mistakes, they wont hire anyone who they believe are deceitful.
     
  20. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    There are people who have been hired by legacies and majors. It probably won’t be an easy path, but it’s doable. The regionals will most likely take you as they are still very desperate for pilots. Hope it all works out!
     
  21. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ^^^ This


    In most states, an employer can get the driving records for jobs that require driving or safety-related duties. They can generally do so without your consent (though most litigation-fearing employers do get consent).

    And many of the court records are available online either for free or nominal money.

    You'll also be subject to random drug/alcohol screens once you're on job.

    You don't just have to worry about the employer directly - if, for example, the job assignment were to fly into Canada and there's a risk that you will be denied entry (due to the conviction/DUI arrest) it'll be harder for them to employ you. For immigration purposes, generally expungement means nothing.

    Yes, you're at a disadvantage compared to someone with a perfectly clean record, but doing fancy stuff to try and avoid telling the truth generally makes it much worse. Yes, employers will often understand one "mistake", but as noted, being deceitful is much harder to understand. We really do live in a "one strike" world these days.
     
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  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You’ll have to navigate the medical side which I’m sure will take some time but won’t be a career ender.

    On the helo employer side I see no issues in getting employment. That is if you can get your foot in the door in a CFI job. You might be competing for one CFI slot against three other applicants who don’t have a DUI. After that, say EMS, you could have three openings and you being the only applicant for the openings. Pretty sure they’re gonna hire ya.
     
  23. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Here's something you can do (which I did, due to a sad family history): stop drinking, totally. It's been 32 years, and I don't miss it. And CFIs are in enough demand that you could snag a spot, especially if you let the employer know that you may be with them for a couple of years.
     
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  24. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I don't see how getting something expunged is in any way deceitful? Thats exactly what expungement is for. If a record is far enough in the past and I have shown myself to be a changed, more responsible individual, giving someone a second chance by "clearing" their record is a good way of saying everyone makes mistakes, but if you learn from them they don't need to affect you forever. If the charge wasn't expunged yet and I said "no" hoping they wouldn't find out, that would be deceitful.

    I did use an attorney when this went through court, hence why it was reduced to reckless driving. And his suggestion was to get it expunged in 7 years when I can which would allow me to answer no when asked about history, and make the charge not appear on any official background check, or driving record check. I see this course of action more about leaving my mistakes in the past than being deceitful. This is also my only offense, no speeding tickets or anything.
     
  25. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The medical and the job thing are two different issues.

    For the job thing, even for a major airline (which I don’t think you’re shooting for) you’d be fine, put in your time at a regional and there ya go.

    Even if it’s expunged it’s going to show on the NCIC, the only concern here job wise, or worth mention wise would be Canada, make sure you get they squared up before it comes time to get the big paying jobs, would suck to not mention it due to expunge or whatever, then catch a random flight into Canada and have to tell the boss man why you can’t do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  26. Baron62

    Baron62 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you maintain a clean record going forward and this is a one time event, I don't believe you will have issues long term. Just be honest if asked and let them know that you don't engage in that behavior any more. Follow the rules. Many great pilots (Yeager, Hoover, etc) enjoyed going out for drinks and were probably lucky they did not get nabbed for DUI.

    If you think that you may be an alcoholic, then do everyone a favor and seek help.
     
  27. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you could convince the cop to arrest you for reckless as opposed to DUI/DWI would you still have to report it if you were never given a BAC test?
     
  28. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It sounds like it would still have to be reported if it involved alcohol. Hire a lawyer if you want to know what "involved" means.

    "Individual traffic arrests and/or convictions are not required to be reported if they did not involve: alcohol or a drug; suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of driving privileges; orattendance at an educational or rehabilitation program."
     
  29. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I'm just saying if there's nothing in the paperwork stating alcohol or drugs, did it officially involve alcohol or drugs? As in no record of it, it doesn't exist?
     
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  30. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thanks everyone for the help.

    My focus is on rotor wing so I shouldn't have to worry about the airlines or flying to Canada. I completely agree with being honest and up front with an employer about the situation and what I have learned from it. Honesty/trust goes a long way.

    In regards to the reporting of a reckless driving arrest; in the rare case that the cop determines you are under the influence by blow test or another means but only arrests you for reckless driving, my guess is that would still be considered an alcohol related incident and would need reporting. Although that is and unlikely situation, and generally a reckless driving charge comes with a license suspension anyway and any kind of license suspension needs reporting on its own.

    In response to EdFred, If there's nothing in the paperwork about alcohol, NOTHING, and you only got arrested for reckless driving and somehow didn't get a license suspension then no you wouldn't have to report that as far as I know.
     
  31. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    Even if you don't get it expunged, in most states the farthest back anyone (except state and federal LE) can obtain a copy of record is 7 years.
     
  32. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I forgot about Canada, but if you had only 1 DUI at least 5 years prior it is no factor.
     
  33. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also a line between being honest and having diarrhea of the mouth, if you get what I’m saying
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  34. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OP said 6 months...
     
  35. Clip4

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    Ok, in 54 months he will not have an issue crossing into Canada with 1 DUI. If Canada does a criminal history check (they don’t at every crossing) he will sent packing home before the 5 year limit.

    The issue is DUI is a felony in Canada.
     
  36. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Eh? That isn't true. The FCRA prohibits employers from using adverse information that is more than seven years past the date of disposition (end of confinement, probation, etc...). However, the information is still there. If the employee is expected to make more then $75,000 (while the depressed commuter pilot salary is below this, it doesn't take much of a higher trip up the ladder to pass this), the seven year limit DOES NOT APPLY (at least federally, the states all have their own rules).

    Further, your statement about it being limited to LE is false. Certainly, agencies (like the FAA) will have access.

    Doing a bit of personal investigations (other than employment), I can tell you the service I subscribe to has stuff going back twenty years or more.
     
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  37. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly. Once it's hoovered up by the private databases, you can expect it to be public forever.
     
  38. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’m not going to be able to help until he’s willing to be straight and own up.
    Lying is not a sustainable strategy.....

    He can have it easy or he can have it hard....
     
  39. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You come onto a public form and call another man a liar?

    I hope you can fully back that up

    Actually I don’t want to know...
    The only way you’d know something not mentioned here is if he reached out to you as a DOCTOR, and if he did that, shared private info with you and you made a public post about it....
     
  40. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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