DUI conviction medical ETA?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by saddletramp, Jul 29, 2022.

  1. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    I have a student close to solo but kept putting off getting his medical certificate. He came in for a lesson the other day & said he'd taken his exam but the certificate would be delayed due to a DUI charge.

    It was just over 2 years ago & his BAC was well over the legal limit. Unfortunately & against my recommendation he has also purchased an airplane.

    What are the typical wait times before he'll obtain a medical certificate?
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    How "well" over? Makes a difference.
     
  3. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    1.1

    .08 is legally drunk in these parts.
     
  4. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The “break points” for thoroughness of evaluations are 0.15 and 0.20. Or If he has more than one arrest.
     
  5. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    :eek:
     
  6. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    That's what he told me but I believe he meant .11.
     
  7. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    18 months, +/- 6, and when apprised of the costs involved he may drop.
     
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  8. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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  9. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    6 to 8 months max (as long as you don’t express suicidal ideology, then you’re talking a year) if you’re a professional front line airline pilot working for one of the big three.

    Couple years if you’re not a danger to society….
     
  10. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Probably .11 around .3 you are comatose and on they way to dying. Did have one guy, chronic drinker and trucker driver come into our er at .342- he died a few days later.
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Actually, even lower can be legally drunk. .08 is only the point where the state doesn't have to prove intoxication, you're assumed to be drunk. You can be convicted of DUI at lesser BACs.
     
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  12. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That definitely happens.
     
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  13. ateamer

    ateamer Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was dispatched (patrol deputy) to the ER to pick up a drunk who’d been foundon a sidewalk and brought in by ambulance. He’d been medically cleared and needed to go to the drunk tank to finish sobering up.

    At the time of release, six hours after being brought in, he was a .34. That means he was about a .40 when the bus scooped him up. At a .34, he was walking without assistance and speaking coherently.

    The worst I ever saw was a .46 - eyes open and babbling, but even when that guy was sober (a rarity about on par with the second mew moon in one month on the same day the Lions beat the defending Super Bowl champs) he made no sense.
     
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  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That's alcohol tolerance for you. I had a patient when I was in the ER with a .42 once. He had also been stabbed. He appeared alert and lucid. Taking his history I asked if he had any medical problems. "Yeah, I got this hole in my shoulder." Yes, other than that.

    I've also seen teens at .20 DOA.
     
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  15. DSTAUFFER

    DSTAUFFER Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello, I know that this is an old subject as I have been reading everything I can on DUI and 3rd class medical. I am 58 YO, and received my one and only DUI in March 2009. I tried AA and counseling, but kept slipping. Finally on December 22, 2009, I stopped consuming ANY alcohol, and have remained alcohol free every day since.
    My DUI story is a little complicated. Up until 2008, I had never had a problem with alcohol. A six pack of beer per year, a bottle of Scotch would last me 2 years. Maybe share 3 bottles of wine per year. In May of 2008 I had Bariatric/stomach by-pass surgery. One of the (at the time) un-discussed side effects of the Bariatric surgery is that alcohol is absorbed much faster and to a higher concentration level (I downloaded several studies on this and sent them to the FAA for review). In fact the absorption rate is up to 2x higher than normal.
    This, I believe led to my being affected by alcohol very differently than I had been used to.
    When I was arrested for the DUI, my blood test came back at .19. I had 2 glasses of wine.
    I drove while intoxicated. I am guilty. I did all the classes and served my time. I did struggle for a few months thinking I can drink a little bit, but that is not the case. I know that I cannot drink alcohol. The same applies to most medications. One Tylenol PM and I am out in 5 minutes for a solid 8 hours, so I do not use any mood altering drugs, legal or illegal.
    Since I cannot tolerate alcohol, I classify myself as an alcoholic. I am the best Designated Driver my friends know. I have had many of the provide letters to the FAA regarding their interactions with me. I attend events with alcohol being served all of the time. I have no urge to indulge.
    I know that the FAA will only look at the facts. I did partial research when I went to my first AME. I did not know of the distinction or separation point of .149 to .15 and over. I received my first letter and supplied everything that the FAA asked for, plus friends and family statements. I achieved my Masters Degree in 1012. I included those transcripts. I have been gainfully employed and promoted several times in the last 13 years.
    I then hired a HIMS AME once I began to realize the mountain I was trying to climb. He did his exam and submitted additional reports.
    My information was submitted in May. So I have several questions:
    My AME says to keep flying. I started my PPL in February. According to my CFL, I am more than ready to solo. How much longer can this process take?
    I have read that a PSYCH study and COGS test will be required. Is it always?
    I asked my AME if I can get that work done now, and he said to wait. Is it bad to want to get ahead of the game?
    I asked my AME to start me on random testing. Again he said no. Was I wrong to ask that?
    From everything I read, I will have the proverbial book thrown at me, so what would be wrong with starting the testing early? Are there different levels of special issuance medicals that I am not aware of?
    Thanks for reading another long story and sorry to bore you all with this. I am just trying to fly for recreation and visit my family. I do not want a career in aviation. I guess I just want to see some light at the end of this tunnel.
     
  16. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pinging Doctor Lou and Doctor Bruce for their input on the above post. @lbfjrmd @bbchien
     
  17. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    1. Agree, listen to those docs.
    2. Until they chime in, really can’t see any reason to not start random testing, that’s kind of a no brainer, just make sure it’s the “right” kind of testing. Basically “ten panel + ETG, randomly at the rate of 14 times per 12 months”.

    Cog and shrink testing is time limited, so that’s a solid maybe…. Critical is that it be by FAA approved chuckle heads. Not just any chuckle head with alphabet soup.
     
  18. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    How much longer can this process take? 4 to 6 months to get a reply from the FAA
    I have read that a PSYCH study and COGS test will be required. Is it always? if this becomes a HIMS case, yes
    I asked my AME if I can get that work done now, and he said to wait. Is it bad to want to get ahead of the game? 13 yrs since infraction? - You were not wrong to ask. I would have agreed with you.
    I asked my AME to start me on random testing. Again he said no. Was I wrong to ask that? same as the previous answer
    From everything I read, I will have the proverbial book thrown at me, so what would be wrong with starting the testing early? Are there different levels of special issuance medicals that I am not aware of? No. A HIMS Alcohol SI is the same for all classes, but the scrutiny, required testing time to process and aftercare may be different for classes, especially 1st class.
     
  19. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I too start the testing immediately. At least the the clock is running in you favor….

    ….and if the problem is alcohol, all those ten panels don’t do you much good…
     
  20. DSTAUFFER

    DSTAUFFER Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello Dr Bruce,
    When you say that the 10 panels will do no good, what do you mean? I assure you that there has been no alcohol in my body for 13 years (ok, to be fair, very rarely Nyquil and mouthwash, which I am changing). Do you mean that the 10 panels do not test for alcohol?
    I have made an appointment with a COGS Psych, am awaiting an appointment with the Psychiatrist, although he sounds like he is several months out. Labs have been created for the urine tests to begin. I am not a fan of AA. Does anyone know of another acceptable option? I do not care for the religious aspect of AA. If there are no other options then I accept that.
     
  21. DSTAUFFER

    DSTAUFFER Filing Flight Plan

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    And to everyone else thank you for the information and feedback!
     
  22. allPrimes

    allPrimes Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is my story, start to finish, about getting a 3rd class medical after a DUI and prolonged abstinence and recovery.

    I have a HIMS 3rd class SI. My DUI was in 1999 and I have not had any mood or mind-altering chemicals since March 2001 and have been active in recovery since then.

    CAMI only required that I do Neuropsych testing, including the full battery and Cogscreen. I was not required to go a HIMS psychiatrist. Although Dr. Bruce and Dr. Lou have significantly more experience than my n = 1, if you did get a jump on your testing, it's possible you may do more than is required. As an example, I had made an appointment for a HIMS Psychiatrist before I was made aware of my HIMS requirements. I was able to cancel the appointment well in advance, but had I gone to the psych would have been out at least two AMUs.

    I did start random testing as soon as I was denied with HIMS encouragement, three months after my initial application.

    I don't think there are any other acceptable options. I should note that I am not religious at all and I do fine in 12-step based receovery. We could probably argue in circles whether AA is "religious" or not; it is what you make it. If you want it to be religious, then it can be. If you don't want it to be religious, it isn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  23. DSTAUFFER

    DSTAUFFER Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you allPrimes! I appreciate the info! I am not one to shy away from the testing. I would dislike paying for a test I did not need.....I hope that I am as fortunate as you were!
     
  24. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    I’ve just never seen a ETG test alone. Also, it’s just standard HIMS protocol.

    ETG is what they look for to see if your body has processed alcohol within the last 4 days or so. Remember, since you’re and alcoholic (their “definition”, not mine…), you’re a liar and probably lying about drug use… ergo the 10 panel (which checks for this and that, far from comprehensive), no one really cares if you’re sniffing glue.

    The ETG test, not FDA approved and not really good at proving abstinence, is simply what the FAA uses most commonly. Fraught with tons of both false positives, false negatives, and is interpreted by direct biomarker neophytes. So, read up on it, control your creatinine (against expert advice, the FAA does not normalize, and uses non expert advised extraordinary low limit of detection) watch for accidental exposure.

    Followed by the problematic cell phone based breathalyzer, again not approved by any rational forensic system, and lastly the PETH test. The least well understood test of them all, and is the sole basis of the step down program.

    So, you’re gonna want a “ten panel + ETG”, randomly administered at the rate of 14 times per 12 months.
     
  25. Tools

    Tools Line Up and Wait

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    There are alternatives to AA. You’re gonna have to shop around for a AME that is both knowledgeable and supports that decision.

    This is where a lawyer is advisable. They remind the FAA about that fact. The fine print says about anything that is ABSTINENCE based. Most secular “methods” allow drinking in moderation. Think prohibition.
     
  26. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ten panel does not test for alcohol or metabolites of alcohol!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022
  27. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Start whatever testing you can get on as soon as possible. Options for alcohol are ETG or PEth. ETG is typically a urine screen although it can also utilize hair, nail, or blood as matrices for various lookback periods. PEth is typical blood, but can also utilize hair and nail matrices. If you do PEth blood tests make sure they don't swab you with alcohol of any kind during the blood draw.

    Prove undeniably that you're not using and that you're committed to do so ongoing. Stop worrying about timelines and calendars, and resign yourself to the fact that the world operates at it's own speed, and if you do things right you'll be rewarded. Acceptance that you're not in control is a liberating thing. This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

    You need to demonstrate both chemical abstinence and mental recovery. These are 2 very different things. Once you engage in a recovery program for a period of time you'll get what I'm saying. What gets most people in recovery is that they believe not drinking is enough. It's not. What the FAA wants to see is that you understand the underlying causes of your dysfunctional alcohol consumption and that you're addressing them.

    AA/12-step is the "easiest" path in that it's the one preferred by the FAA. That said, the religious aspect means they cannot mandate it due to various court rulings. There are other options such as SMART Recovery which is CBT based. It will never be acknowledged that non-AA programs are frowned upon by the agency, but understand that it is. Most importantly, do what's right to be healthy.

    I've seen A LOT of people try to work through addiction. My personal experience is that people who fight AA fall into 2 camps. 1. Genuinely non-religious and interested in a more science based approach (I fall into this). 2. Just generally anti-authoritarian and unwilling to accept help. I'll leave the introspective exercise to you. I'm not trying to sway you either way. Again, do what's right for your health.

    One of the most unexpected realizations I've had, is that people who get to true recovery (vs just abstinence) tend to exhibit the same behaviors and actions whether they reach the goal via 12 step or more modern clinical/scientific programs. I liken it to "religious" people and "science" people reaching understanding of one another through belief that the bible and the physics text can tell the same story but do so with different words.

    The right "program" is the one that works.
     
  28. Thank you for the words and thorough discussion. I am definitely a more science based mind. I gave a lot of thought to the marathon not a sprint and you are correct. I am sonused to the private sector where speed counts.
    I want to thank you all for the feedback. It is actually very encouraging.