DUI dismissed but FAA investigates anyways

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by NeverSayNever, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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    Three years ago I was pulled over for supposed loud music violation. I submitted to a field sobriety test, which I thought I passed but the officers, eight in total still wanted a breathalyzer test. They pulled out one, then another officer said they should use the one in his trunk. I was fully cooperating but these officers were just looking for a reason too haul me in. I politely asked to do a blood draw, while not refusing anything. They were not happy about this. Fast forward a few months, I'm not a lawyer so I hired one. The lawyer was able to get all the charges dropped because the stop was unconstitutional.

    In the preceding three years, I have reported the incident as required by the FAA on each medical application. Yeah, I was arrested but was not convicted of anything and I don't have a DUI on my record. But that doesn't seem to matter to the FAA. A couple months ago they revisited the issue and asked for all the information pertaining to the case. I submitted that info, and a couple months later they asked why there was not a BAC test report. Well that information was never submitted to the court and my lawyer never received it either, because the case was dismissed before it was ever submitted. I called the FAA and told them the situation and asked if a written letter from my lawyer pertaining to the situation would be sufficient. The answer was yes and I did so. Last week I received another letter from the FAA saying that the letter was appreciated but insufficient and now they want my to do a HIMS evaluation. It seems as if they have gone to the full investigation mode on a charge that was fully dropped three years ago and in which I learned a valuable lesson.

    I have contacted Dr. Chien and he is looking into the situation, but my question is: Have any of you other aviators had to deal with the FAA after a charge has been dismissed. I'm wondering if the FAA has the legal power to pursue an investigation for a charge that doesn't legally exist anymore. Anyone that has an insight into this situation and could provide some advice, would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Perhaps you meant the SUBSEQUENT three years, since it's doubtful you knew to report an anticipatory breach.

    Other than that, you seem to have the Chien advice that these threads always lead to.... so leave it with the good Doctor and your apparently better than average lawyer.
     
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  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I am not a lawyer, but the FAA is civil, not criminal, so yes they can pursue you for any reason they deem necessary.
     
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  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'm wondering if there's not more to the story with this one...
     
  5. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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  6. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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    If there is more to the story, nobody has read it too me yet.
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    "As for the criminal vs civil, there should be nothing to investigate since the case was dismissed and essentially making only the initial arrest the only thing on my record. But I'm not a lawyer either, but it seems as if they are pursuing a case that legally doesn't exist anymore. But thanks for you're input."

    Apparently you missed the point. FAA is civil case, not a legal case. You say the charges were dropped. That is fine. They were dropped by the legal court you were answering to. You had a good lawyer. Since all charges were dropped, does that mean there was no incident that happened? The FAA is not a legal court bound by the constitution and your case being dropped has no bearing on their investigation.

    I really don't know what you are looking for, but you are probably not going to find it here on this forum. I would suggest going back to that good lawyer and talking with him.

    Thanks for coming here and playing. Sorry to hear you are having problems with the FAA. So have I at one time.
     
  8. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    There would seem to be a problem here. The government is punishing you for a crime you were never convicted of.

    Why is it that different standards are applied to aviation? The DMV doesn’t say “well, you weren’t convicted, but we want more info anyhow before we issue a drivers’ license”.

    It just doesn’t seem right.
     
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  9. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for your input Zeldman.
     
  10. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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    That's what I'm trying to figure out.
     
  11. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Welcome to "administrative" law

    Basically what it would be like if we didn't have a constitution, but since flying is a "privlage" there ya go.

    Personally I'm with you, if you're not found guilty it should be non of their business.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  12. NeverSayNever

    NeverSayNever Filing Flight Plan

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    That makes sense James. I've kept my nose clean after 12yrs of flying and this is the first time I've had to deal with this. I appreciate all the info and I will just have to leave it up to Dr. Chien and maybe the lawyer to see what hoops I have to jump thru and hopefully just once.
     
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  13. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Folks on POA like to be passive-aggressive-negative. I suspect most of them haven’t had to deal with a federal agency operating in the civil world. Civil servants can have motivations that are somewhat removed from the range that might be expected in a rational world.
     
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  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you saying that he's withholding relevant information from us? If so, what purpose would that serve?
     
  15. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAA may THINK they aren't bound by the Constitution. :rolleyes1:
     
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  16. geneseib

    geneseib Line Up and Wait

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    Perhaps your lawyer should have gotten the charges dropped on the merits of the case rather than a technicality.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    What was the lesson learned?
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Not to aviation, but to any non-criminal proceeding. Even a complete "not guilty " doesn’t preclude raising an issue in a non-criminal proceeding. Think OJ as an example - found not guilty of murder but lost the civil suit for wrongful death.

    It’s not so much about the civil side requiring less ("more likely than not"), but about requiring the government to show more ("beyond a reasonable doubt") and have more restrictions when criminally charging someone.

    I have no opinion on the situation itself.
     
  19. tawood

    tawood Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sounds to me that your charges were dropped but your blood alcohol showed you were over the limit while you were driving...so the FAA is more concerned about the blood alcohol level than a conviction. What was your blood alcohol level?
     
  20. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I don’t think he’s necessarily saying that. I have had many cases in which my client did not have some relevant information. If dismissed early enough on procedural grounds, that would not even be unusual. That’s not the same as "withholding" it. If I’m reading the original post correctly, the blood test is at least one piece of relevant information he doesn’t have.
     
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  21. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I suspect that jumping through whatever hoops the FAA has set for the OP is going to wind up being the most efficacious course of action. From the sounds of this if it gets fought, the OP will win in the end, given that there's simply no evidence of any kind of operation of a motor vehicle wile intoxicated. The FAA may pursue civil law, but they do have to do so on a factual basis. Bob Hoover might have been grounded for awhile, but he won out in the end.

    All that said, lawyers are bound to be more expensive than whoever administers the HIMS nonsense. And "winning out", whatever that means in the end, could take quite some time. Says me bend over and take it in the six.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Many states have administrative proceedings that run independently of the criminal charge for DUI. For instance, you automatically lose your license for blowing 0.08 or refusing. You can protest it in an administrative hearing, but the standard is much less than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the criminal charge.
     
  23. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Same thing that is wrong with the medical system - we think there might be a problem, so the expense is on you to prove that we're wrong. The easiest route is simply not to drink.
     
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  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If we actually prosecuted the drunk drivers reliably, the FAA wouldn't be so concerned. The problem in most states is it is far too easy to avoid a DUI conviction on the first offense. Not surprisingly, the first offense is not the first time the person has driven dangerously impaired, nor does it end up being the last. AA and community service don't change people's behaviors.
     
  25. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    I don't think it's the crime that the FAA is punishing him for, but rather the potential drinking problem. They're going after him the same as they would for someone with diabetes or a heart condition.
     
  26. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    61.16, failure to provide BAC test results, they will assume the worst

    Of course there is the question about whether or not test results ever legally existed. Doesn't seem right to force a pilot into an alcoholism program on the basis of an unfounded accusation.

    Wanna bet there is more to the story?
     
  27. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey, a civil servant gets another “drunk pilot removed from skies” pelt added to his collection. Some day he’ll be promoted to gs12 because of all the good work.

    Maybe the test results were unfavorable. The court ruling said the test does not exist. Can the FAA arbitrarily over rule the court and say the test exists? Bet it’d take a lot of lawyer $$$$ to fight the taxpayer funded lawyers at the FAA.

    At the end of the day the term “unreasonable search” comes to mind. I think the FAA needs to convince a judge they have a right to the test results before they can request them in a case like this.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How much did you have to drink? What was your BAC?
     
  29. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unless the FAA wants to get you or doesn't like the results.

    The Bob Hoover case shows that the FAA sometimes overreaches, badly. This is one of the issues with administrative law - recourse is limited and very time consuming, even if you comply.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2017/january/pilot/pilot-counsel-hoover-obituary

    I'm not suggesting that you drink or not drink, that's your decision. Don't drive after drinking. I'm suggesting that even not drinking may not be enough.
     
  30. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    His line "I learned a lesson" is a tell IMO.
     
  31. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I think we should all ponder this over a drink.
     
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  32. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    What goes here?
    or two.
     
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  33. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got the first round!
     
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  34. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Good.... because this thread has potential for many rounds!!!
     
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  35. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hmmm, why did he report it in the first place, am I reading something wrong????

    Reporting Requirements
    Under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must send a Notification Letter (MS Word) to FAA’s Security and Investigations Division within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol and/or drug related conviction or administrative action. In 14 CFR 61.15(c), alcohol and/or drug related convictions or administrative actions refer to motor vehicle actions (MVA).
     
  36. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    While he didn't say it, there was probably an "administrative action" as well.
     
  37. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    It's funny to hear someone who flies airplanes clipe about the cost of healthcare when avionics, a quick engine tune-up, and a mechanic's hourly wages are all sky high. There's your problem right there, 'Merica.

    To the OP I suggest turning down the crappy music. Play better stuff and people won't call the fuzz on you.
     
  38. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    FTFY.
     
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  39. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    Not really. It should have said "an" before auto. And it should have said rates, not necessarily wages.

    Funny, you have to be in (relatively) good health to get a medical certificate to fly a certificated aircraft in the first place. Healthy = no need to spend money on extra health care expenses very often. Unhealthy, it gets expensive fast if you don't have decent insurance. Solid airplane = no need to spend extra money at the shop very often. Broken airplane = expensive from the first turn of a wrench.

    Pilots need good health and airplanes need sign-offs in their log books.
     
  40. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Should have said "that's whats wrong with the FAA medical system"....the complaint is not about the cost of healthcare, it's about the assumption of having a medical problem and paying to prove that you don't in order to keep flying.

    Although a health care system that automatically costs $1700/month when you're healthy and is still going up is also a problem.
     
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