FAA approch to dual-DUI

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by bbchien, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So I have been corresponding with an airman want-to-be. He reports DUI 2002 and 2004. He refuses to answer my three time inquiry into did he blow- noting that they have been expunged. Two DUIs and inability to prove both < 0.15 BAC means HIMS evaluation.

    In the discussion, I describe the "tools" that the HIMS psychiatrists want: random negative urines, letters from those in a position to know as to a sober life, evidence of any AA attendance (evidence, of realization that "hey this is a problem").

    He is evasive as to his sobriety date, and finally tells me that he drinks sporadically- beer last week. So I tell him he will not succeed, because he will not. FAA-wise He has lost the privilege of an occasional beer or three, as he has plainly continued the use of alcohol even though he has had adverse consequences of its continued use (the 2004 DUI). He then says, "we'll I'll see an attorney, I haven't driven drunk since 2004", and I reply that will freeze any application for about two years as the docs stop talking once an attorney is involved.

    WIth continued drinking, at best the agency will also require a HIMS neuropsychology evaluation - is the drinking at a low enough level that the guy's brain is right? Now we're up to $6.5 K.

    ***
    FAAs point of view: He has at least abuse. At a very minimum, that is a 24 month monitored sobriety special issuance. The question is, has he abused again in the prior two years (67.307), which by reg. prevents issuance. That's sort of hard to prove unless you can claim abstinence, and show it with urines, which is why the HIMS psychiatrists want that tool.

    So the question is, here's a guy who apparently "has it under control" but our FAA standards are higher than that.

    I had to wish him well and note that essentially at this point he has to choose beer, or Air. It doesn't matter how old the DUIs are. In this situation a civil attorney can only ask was proper procedure followed (this is Admin. Law) and the above is exactly how they will proceed. He isn't flying anytime soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Expungement is one of "those" topics people argue about, so just a heads up to others.

    The FAA has made clear what it considers the effect of expungement on the medical certificate application questiona. This, from the March 2018 edition of the MedXpress User's guide:

    If the record of a conviction has been expunged, state the date the record was expunged and the court that ordered the expunction.​

    For those who argue expungement means it never existed and need not be disclosed, this statement doesn't mean the issue goes away. But it does mean the FAA will continue, as it has done in the past, to treat failure to disclose as fraud justifying revocation of all certificates.

    (Parenthetically, the FAA also instructs that convictions which have been reversed are also to be disclosed, which I personally think is much more problematic)
     
  3. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Flying doesn't work with alcohol abuse or recreational substance use of any kind. Just how it is. Flying has completely changed my life. I only very rarely drink while I'm out, and only when there is someone else driving. I do all my drinking at home, though I have to monitor it quite carefully. Mrs. Steingar does not approve at all. Not entirely a bad thing, alcohol has lots of calories.
     
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  4. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    When I came to this as the reason I stopped drinking beer at parties, I realized that I was officially old.

    I'm trying to do better now. "I will NOT be old. I will NOT be old ..."
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I like pie bookmarking. Dr. Bruce's information is a good post to reference for future "I was caught in the past, but I'm okay now" folk that wander onto the PoA front porch with an alcoholic drink in their hand.
     
  6. jstro

    jstro Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In addition to the motivation to lose weight, the risk of DUI scares me. There's so much to lose there. I still love a beer or two but I'm more careful nowadays. I'm not a big guy so a couple tasty IPAs are enough to put me over 0.08. Uber is your friend. Remember that this St. Paddy's Day :)
     
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  7. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I'm not a fan of the FAA's DUI policy, but I will concede that anyone that has been convicted of two DUI's likely has a problem and I don't have sympathy that they will need to spend $6.5K to prove they are not a risk.
     
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  8. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But isn't your name "I B Old"?
     
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  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    "I Be Old"

    Now that's funny right there....
     
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  10. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Dr. Bruce, interesting narrative.

    Granted, I am just a lawyer, and not a physician, but we see things like this here from time to time as well. Whatever else 25 years of practice is taught me, it is that a prospective client who is not interested in hearing the truth, or accepting your experience-based counsel, is probably a client you don't want.

    So I send them down the road with my best wishes.

    I have had much more than normal exposure to people fighting addiction, and I do not believe the FAA is much out of line in their approach, because people like the one you have described our likely to be a problem, both as to addiction and resultant impaired operation, and an attitude of invincibility, with a healthy dose of contempt for authority thrown in as a bonus.

    In any event, whether the FAA is right or wrong in how they approach this issue is, for this discussion irrelevant, for (to use one of my least-favorite phrases), "it is what it is." If someone doesn't want to hear your carefully-crafted analysis and advice, advice born of experience and authority, they have told you a great deal about themselves, and I think you can predict their chances of success reliably.

    Thanks for all you do, and fly safe!
     
  11. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!
     
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  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Right. The FAA is always right. Even when they're not, they're right.
     
  13. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Youse guys are making me thirsty! ;)
     
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  14. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I completely agree and almost included a similar sentiment...
     
  15. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    It appeares to me drinking was a part of the aviation history and culture.

    My father was a well-known engineering test pilot, an aviation pioneer and liked his drinking.

    When he had a party for aviators He would buy whisky, vodka and beer by the case in preparation.

    Drinking seemed widespread at the QB meetings and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots meetings.

    Many of the military aviators I know place a high value on drinking alcohol and most have drinking to excess stories.

    I suppose the FAAs campaign against alcoholics is just part of our changing culture.
     
  16. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    I know - personally - a former Marine Hornet pilot whose callsign the entire time she was in the USMC was 'Lush.'

    She mustered out in 2016. So don't tell me it was back in the day . . .

    The thing is the rules are the rules. The FAA has been legislated and elected officialed and MADDed into its current policy.

    It's not going to change. Can you imagine the press reporting of "The FAA lowers alcohol abuse standards for pilots!"

    End of story.
     
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  17. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think that the FAA expects pilots to be teetotalers. The fact that a high percentage of pilots like to drink and drink heavily at times seems to be a well accepted fact. However, they want you to be able to recognize when you are incapacitated and not operate a vehicle when you are. Either that or to make the right plans in advance to have a sober driver to get you home. DUI means a lack of judgement and a disregard for the safety of others. Drinking and even being drunk in and of itself, not so much.
     
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  18. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It's one thing to be an alcoholic. It's another to be an alcoholic who tries to drive cars, fly airplanes, operate locomotives, drive semis, perform surgeries...while under the influence.

    If the individual in question is in fact an alcoholic, which category does does he fall in? Would he be a risk to the National Airspace System?
     
  19. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Based on what I have seen posted in other threads it sure seems to me they do...
     
  20. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    We can thank John Denver for much of this.
     
  21. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    I wonder what the FAA is going to do to ferret out the problem drinkers once self driving cars become ubiquitous. I don't think that's very far in the future.

    I also wonder what new sources of revenue the local police departments will need to find. DWI, while a serious problem, has also become a revenue stream for local PDs, especially since it's been the limit has been lowered to 0.08.

    And then there's a movement afoot to lower it further...I think to 0.05. Making criminals out of people who have one or two standard drinks with dinner over the course of an hour (and who, IMO, pose no danger to anyone if it's not the first time they've ever had a drink) serves no purpose other than to generate revenue.
     
  22. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Colorado and others are trying to figure out 'driving while high'.
     
  23. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I very strongly suspect nothing will change with the advent of self driving cars. I think someone will still need to be under the legal limit and officially "PIC" of the vehicle. Even in an impaired "operator" were not capable of causing harm, local governments and DUI industry have too much revenue to lose. As we move toward completely autonomous vehicles, yes, some day they will have to change... but they'll give it up only very grudgingly and years late, if at all.
     
  24. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Are we talking people who have been arrested for a DUI or the rest of us who haven't? You only get a DUI if you've driven under the influence.
     
  25. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've known people arrested for DUI who were not under the influence. Nevertheless, it's reportable on the medical certificate and often at least once under 61.15 as well.
     
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  27. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Surprisingly, not a single New England state is on that list. I say surprisingly, because it's "common knowledge" that alcohol use is very prevalent here. (Of course, many things that are "common knowledge" turn out not to be true.)

    Edit: well okay, digging a little further it turns out that Maine and Vermont scored 11th and 12th, respectively, and all the New England states except Rhode Island were in the top 20. So perhaps not too surprising, after all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  28. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On, Wisconsin, On, Wisconsin.....!
    Tailhook. The retirement if two admirals and the resignation of a sec’y of defense, was the signal.
     
  29. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Damn, the southeast is mostly way down the list. Come on fellow southeasterners, let’s get going! We have some catching up to do. Get your drunk on! Who’s in?
     
  30. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    The first thing I did when we moved into our new house.
     

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  31. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now, that’s a serious bar. You are definitely doing your part to move the southeast up the list. :D
     
  32. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    Tim, I’m curious how you came to the conclusion that DUI’s generate revenue for the PD. They likely generate some money for the DMV/DOL in the form of ignition interlock rental and DUI license hearings/license reissue fees. They most certainly generate big $$$ for specialist DUI attorneys. But PDs make zilch point squat on criminal cases (of which DUI is one. In fact, they lose money when you consider court and prosecution fees assessed to cities/counties, as well as OT to the deputy/officer/Trooper if they have to hold over.
    If you want to discuss INFRACTIONS, that’s a different story (although at least in WA, even those don’t make nearly what you’d think for the issuing agency as the bulk of the money goes to the state).
     
  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And one former acting director of the FAA.
     
  34. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Only because so many of the other threads started out with "I swear I don't have a problem, but I blew .3 and got a DUI...I was perfectly fine". That is someone who has a problem and who the FAA is going to require to make a choice - drinking or flying, because they've demonstrated they can't do both.
     
  35. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If it didn't they wouldn't made such a big hairy deal out of it.
     
  36. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know plenty of pilots who drink. The difference lies in getting pegged for two dee wees.
     
  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    The department I worked for received no money for drunk driving arrests. Most of the officers that made a “big hairy deal” about drunk drivers did so because it was personal. They had some type of impact on their lives with a drunk driver. Often all it takes is responding to a wreck where a drunk kills a family with their car and it’s like ****ing magic... instant cop that hates drunk drivers and has zero tolerance for offenders.
     
  38. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    My department receives no money from DD arrests...goes to the court that has jurisdiction, and no, it doesn't "trickle down" back to us in any way.
     
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  39. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I doubt that the DMV makes much on the thing either. I'm not aware of any state where the DMV gets paid for interlocks. It's a private business in most states, as is a lot of the mandated evaluation, courses, etc...

    The people who are making money on this isn't the police or the state but the cottage industry of attorneys, alcohol testing/counselling/treatment centers, and interlock vendors.

    My old AME did pilot medicals as a side line (he gave a 50% discount to pilots). His real money making business was running the drug testing operation not only for a few air carriers but some other related transportation industry.
     
  40. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    ...and insurance companies. More DUI arrests helps identify their potentially highest risk customers, and if nothing else charge them accordingly.
     
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