FAQ: DUI's and alcohol/drug abuse

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kath, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

    Feb 27, 2005
    Anchorage, AK

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    I'm starting this thread in order to collect information about DUI/DWI and alcohol/drug abuse issues and pilot medicals. New pilots and Student Pilots: if you have ever had a DUI or issues with drugs/alcohol, please read some of these threads first!

    Student pilot: 21 year old DUI, sober for 19 years, active in recovery

    Will I be required to do the HIMS program?

    My past, starting as a student

    Trying to get my 3rd Class Medical with prior substance abuse showing up and no legal trouble

    I'm going to make this thread "sticky"... but this should be a living list, that can have changes and additions. If you know of a good thread that new Student Pilots should read, or that new users should search for, please let me know and I'll add it!

    (My plan is to do something similar for SSRI's, ADHD, etc... suggestions welcome there too.)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  2. BornToCrawl

    BornToCrawl Guest

    Hi, another DUI post, I apologize.
    I was born in 1981 and I used to have a pretty bad drinking problem and some drug use in my late teens and early 20s. I've had a DUI arrest/conviction (don't remember the BAC or have it in paperwork) in 1999, resisting arrest and petty theft arrests/convictions (both alcohol-related) in 2003. Definitely a history of alcohol abuse. I have been sober since 2004. Staying out of trouble, going to AA regularly, clean driving record, work for same company for 10 years. I am trying to get a PPL - for the first time in my life I think I can afford it, so I need to pass a class 3 med. Just passed the knowledge test with a score of 100%. All 3 cases have been expunged as far as the state (CA) is concerned but I understand still need to be reported to FAA. I've read all the threads here that I could find, but still had some questions, any help would be much appreciated.
    Basically I was wondering if anyone could recommend a AME in Los Angeles or Orange counties in CA and if anyone knows what my chances of getting a certificate are and how to maximize them. I do realize it will have to be deferred. I would love to be able to avoid the urine tests/evaluation for cost reasons. This is what I have so far -
    1. Working on a letter explaining the alcohol/drug use and arrests. Anything in particular that should be mentioned?
    2. Had liver function tests done - ALT, Alkaline Phosphatase, Bilirubin, also have records of 3 more tests going back to 2012. Any others?
    3. Will soon have 6 letters testifying that I'm sober and have been sober and responsible as long as they've known me - current boss (since 2018), former boss (since 2011), girlfriend, her mother (both since 2015), AA sponsor (since 2004), another AA member (since 2017)
    4. Ordered the official driving record
    5. Got printouts of the court cases - don't have any other paperwork (like police reports) since it was so long ago. After I had them expunged I kept only the expungement orders, not expecting to need anything else ever again.
    6. Probably will not be able to obtain a proof of having been in rehab in 2003 - too long ago - it is however mentioned in court case printout
    This is all I have/will soon have so far. Thank you for any information regarding this.
  3. PiperW

    PiperW Pre-takeoff checklist

    May 2, 2019

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    All local and state arrest are reported to the FBI and I don’t think those arrest are purged if there is a conviction. Companies out there that specializes in federal background check.
  4. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

    Aug 6, 2020

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    I would hire a lawyer to put together the package. Medically, it appears there’s nothing left to do. But a well worded and organized package will present the best case possible, and help them understand the risks have already been mitigated. In fact, according to the FARs you can be issued an unrestricted 1st class… but they don’t rule by regulation, instead they rely on internal policy. THAT is why a lawyer is so important. IMO.
    Kevin Holbrook likes this.
  5. allPrimes

    allPrimes Pre-takeoff checklist

    Jun 30, 2020

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    I'd like this too, but I'm fairly certain it won't happen. If it does happen for you, I'll be terribly jealous!
  6. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Apr 24, 2012

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    Brian Flynn
    I disagree. The FAA operates on a compliance program. Climb, Confess, Comply applies to your medical too, you get better, admit your mistake and do what they require of you. Failing to do that or resisting puts you down a harder path.

    If you fall into the "bad" categories on the HIMS decision trees, there isn't any wiggle room. Your BAC was either below 0.15 or it wasn't. You either had a single incident more than 5 years ago or you haven't. This isn't a problem that you can spin and unless a lawyer has an intimate knowledge of FAA Medical internal procedures, they're likely to do more harm than good.

    DUIDWI_Alcohol_Incidents_Disposition_Table.pdf (faa.gov)
    Mason and allPrimes like this.
  7. BornToCrawl

    BornToCrawl Guest

    Hi, OP here, thank you, everyone. I saw an AME, submitted everything I could think of - a personal statement detailing as much as I could think of, blood tests, all the court/treatment stuff I could find, personal statements and now I just hope for the best. I did not want to get an attorney, because it would be cheaper to just do the eval+monitoring, but also because disposition tables list exactly what they want to know, and I thought that in my case there's no way to word to so that it sounds better than what it is. Thank you!
  8. Citation Pilot

    Citation Pilot Filing Flight Plan

    Mar 28, 2023

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    Any word on deferral times the FAA is doing?