FAQ: DUI's and alcohol/drug abuse

So as an update; My HIMS AME called the FAA Medical team and apparently discussed my file. The denial was 'reversed' and I am back under review. I started AA meetings in August, obtained a sponsor as they asked and have been engaged. My sponsor has sent in a letter stating as much.
My sleep apnea re-test went as expected. and I have no signs of sleep apnea. I went back to the original HIMS PSYCH for the follow up that he recommended. He was shocked that I had been denied. He re-issued a new report and sent it back last week. I send in the meeting verifications each month. I am closing in on 100 hours now.
Back in the system. Some of the AA meetings I actually enjoy. Found a very good online group that are actually kinda fun. I did have to go thru several before I found the right one.
I am hoping that it comes out by the end of the year, but however long it takes, so be it. :)
 
I'm just under 160 hrs dual with 7 actual/33 sim instrument, Private and Instrument knowledge tests in the pocket and killing time doing fun trips with my CFI until I get my SI. Frustrating but hell, I'm still flying and having fun :). When I get impatient I have to remember that my actions resulted in these consequences.
 
Hi. I've read a bunch of DUI posts on here and am currently in review with FAA. Posting to 1) share for others in a similar situation and 2) to see if anyone has recently been decisioned by FAA and how long that took?
  • Never held a FAA medical
  • 2002 - DUI with > 0.15, accident involved
  • 2022 Sep - Saw a HIMS AME
  • 2022 Oct - Began alcohol abstinence and random testing
  • 2023 Mar - After 7 negative random tests, two observed, one blood, submitted packet to FAA
  • 2023 Apr - FAA received packet
  • 2023 Jun - As of today, still pending decision, so just short of three months
The testing has continued, of course, and I'm now up to 12 random tests, all are EtG + drug panel. Curious if anyone has been in a similar situation and recently got a decision (any decision) from FAA medical recently? If so, how long did it take?

Anyway, like most people, I was quite surprised to learn that a DUI from two decades ago had this much weight considering 1) no legal issues with alcohol or anything else in the interim, 2) clean lifetime DMV record (except the DUI), 3) long job history, 4) long marriage. Obviously they have their own ways of determining risk, but someone who truly has a substance abuse problem can't conceal that for two decades.
wow! During the process from transmitted to review(not final review)were you asked to provide any details or evidence of your situation?
 
So as an update; My HIMS AME called the FAA Medical team and apparently discussed my file. The denial was 'reversed' and I am back under review. I started AA meetings in August, obtained a sponsor as they asked and have been engaged. My sponsor has sent in a letter stating as much.
My sleep apnea re-test went as expected. and I have no signs of sleep apnea. I went back to the original HIMS PSYCH for the follow up that he recommended. He was shocked that I had been denied. He re-issued a new report and sent it back last week. I send in the meeting verifications each month. I am closing in on 100 hours now.
Back in the system. Some of the AA meetings I actually enjoy. Found a very good online group that are actually kinda fun. I did have to go thru several before I found the right one.
I am hoping that it comes out by the end of the year, but however long it takes, so be it. :)
I’ve been following your saga on here. Thanks for the transparency and followups. I’m about 6 months under review with 12 months of random urine tests for a > 0.15 BAC accident-involved DUI from 2002. Otherwise no legal, medical, or drug issues except for two speeding tix over 10 years ago. Your tenacity is impressive! You have me wondering if I should find an AA group just in case I get a denial?

I wish you the best and look forward to hearing good news from you soon.
 
wow! During the process from transmitted to review(not final review)were you asked to provide any details or evidence of your situation?
From the FAA? No.

My AME told me when we initially filed to provide the standard documentation: police report, final court disposition, alcohol and drug testing results, personal statement, lifetime DMV, professional letter of reference, etc. It’s a lot, but it makes sense to have to provide. Still waiting btw. I call every Friday and I’m probably up to 30 Fridays now.
 
It has been a long haul!
Because of my age, I just completed my 2 year exam. Still waiting for ruling. All of my urine tests are sent in and I still have them done every 4 weeks or so. AA meetings 3 times a week to cover for those times when I am out of town.
Recent AME HIMS exam went as expected. Clean bill of health. I am now officialy past 2 years with this medical process.
22 urine tests, all clean, AA since August, psych eval good. 140+ hours in the cockpit ( took some breaks to save some cash) . Doc says I am under review again.
 
Are you a doctor?
Does he need to be? Can only doctors quote blood alcohol effects from the internet.

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I am a doctor...maybe it would be better if I repeated this...?
It can be repeated, but as with everything a simple chart doesn't apply to everyone. Not everyone passes their check ride with 40 hours, and not everyone takes 300 to get it. There's a lot in the middle, but their out outliers that make charts like that garbage when applied to an individual. I know and have witnessed people that appear to be in the Elevated Risk category after 1/2 a margarita, and there's no way their BAC was that high. I also don't agree that just because someone has higher tolerance and dependence just because they aren't falling over when they have a few. My 21st birthday is a perfect example. Never even had so much as a buzz prior to my 21st so I obviously wasn't dependent or built up any tolerance, but my BAC was EASILY in the High Risk Zone even though I was still demonstrating in the green zone. So how is it that I built up tolerance and dependent when I hadn't built up a tolerance?

Even now I will go weeks or months without having a drop of alcohol, and while not quite as tolerant as when I was younger, that chart still isn't an accurate guide. But I'm soooo dependent on booze that I go months without having any?
 
It can be repeated, but as with everything a simple chart doesn't apply to everyone. Not everyone passes their check ride with 40 hours, and not everyone takes 300 to get it. There's a lot in the middle, but their out outliers that make charts like that garbage when applied to an individual. I know and have witnessed people that appear to be in the Elevated Risk category after 1/2 a margarita, and there's no way their BAC was that high. I also don't agree that just because someone has higher tolerance and dependence just because they aren't falling over when they have a few. My 21st birthday is a perfect example. Never even had so much as a buzz prior to my 21st so I obviously wasn't dependent or built up any tolerance, but my BAC was EASILY in the High Risk Zone even though I was still demonstrating in the green zone. So how is it that I built up tolerance and dependent when I hadn't built up a tolerance?

Even now I will go weeks or months without having a drop of alcohol, and while not quite as tolerant as when I was younger, that chart still isn't an accurate guide. But I'm soooo dependent on booze that I go months without having any?
Yes, it is a simplification.

I was more responding to the silly notion that only a doctor can post the information.
 
I am a doctor...maybe it would be better if I repeated this...?
https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/attachments/126226/

And I am a HIMS AME. Despite Ed Fred's comment, the population data are for the whole population, quite predictive.

HIMSSCREWED has a problem. He just doesn't recognize what problem it is. it has been a very long time since anyone with a 0.19 got approved without full rehab (though I have one who was at .187, who was ruled abuse and is peeing in the cup for 2 + years).
:(
 
Hmmm…

Maybe, just maybe, the doctor question was asked because what was offered looked an awful lot like a diagnosis. Which should only come from a doctor.

BUT, you say, it’s just SGOTI making a comment in passing, referencing basically anecdotal internet info. Which is all that it was.

THE PROBLEM is that HIMS, vis a vis airlines, DOES EXACTLY THAT.

Alcoholic line pilots DIAGNOSE other pilots (as evidenced by their authority to authorize and fund TREATMENT) based on a one minute telephone conversation, verifying ZERO information. Not “accepting” this fate is met IMMEDIATELY with credible threats of lifelong medical invalidation.

I could write VOLUMES of info on the vast array of permutations as to why this doesn’t make any sense in any universe. But here we are. Completely condoned and encouraged by the us government.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want A DOCTOR, who brags he has authority over my medical, saying I have “a problem” based on an internet post… which just happened. THAT is the HIMS program.
 
Hmmm…

Maybe, just maybe, the doctor question was asked because what was offered looked an awful lot like a diagnosis. Which should only come from a doctor.

BUT, you say, it’s just SGOTI making a comment in passing, referencing basically anecdotal internet info. Which is all that it was.

THE PROBLEM is that HIMS, vis a vis airlines, DOES EXACTLY THAT.

Alcoholic line pilots DIAGNOSE other pilots (as evidenced by their authority to authorize and fund TREATMENT) based on a one minute telephone conversation, verifying ZERO information. Not “accepting” this fate is met IMMEDIATELY with credible threats of lifelong medical invalidation.

I could write VOLUMES of info on the vast array of permutations as to why this doesn’t make any sense in any universe. But here we are. Completely condoned and encouraged by the us government.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want A DOCTOR, who brags he has authority over my medical, saying I have “a problem” based on an internet post… which just happened. THAT is the HIMS program.
I can safely drive faster than the speed limit. But speed limits are posted for the lowest common denominator. You gotta have a standard somewhere.
 
I can safely drive faster than the speed limit. But speed limits are posted for the lowest common denominator. You gotta have a standard somewhere.
Ok. So by your own argument all speeders should be labeled as lifetime speeders and should have to have a speedometer connected to the internet to report to the government anytime they go over the speed limit EVEN if they are just driving around on their own property! lol! Get out of here with that noise!

If you get caught speeding you get a ticket and then you move on with the rest of your life! Your argument is flawed at best!
 
What’s really interesting yet truly sad is those people entrusted with the care of those of us in the program comment in such ways that indicate a true resistance to ACTUALLY helping the patients in this program! They mock those of us who dare to ask questions or stand up for themselves! The scariest part of this program is those of you who just assume that you know what our “problem” is and how to force feed a cure for it! That is NOT the answer!! You took my word when I VOLUNTEERED into this program and now I need to just sit there and STFU? Bull….****!! That’s not how anything works in life ESPECIALLY when we are the patients!

You need to start listening to your PATIENTS!! We are demanding change and if you are truly going to remain true to your profession and it’s hipocratic oath, then you will need to learn to be the one to sit down, and listen. Change is desperately needed, is inevitable, and is coming!
 
Ok. So by your own argument all speeders should be labeled as lifetime speeders and should have to have a speedometer connected to the internet to report to the government anytime they go over the speed limit EVEN if they are just driving around on their own property! lol! Get out of here with that noise!

If you get caught speeding you get a ticket and then you move on with the rest of your life! Your argument is flawed at best!
???
 
Hello All,

After scanning through these forums, I just want to confirm what I probably already know
My history : 34 now, DUI in 2011 right after I turned 21. Denied breathalyzer. Convicted of DUI and sentenced to 1 year probation, mandatory alcohol substance abuse classes, and 100 hours of community service. Since then there has been no alcohol or criminal related instances. Since then I have graduated college, been a naturalist guide in the backcountry and have managed a bar in a ski resort town. My coworkers know me as "the bartender who doesn't drink".

Yesterday, I was deferred on my class 1 medical due to the DUI not having a breathalyzer. It seems like I am destined for a long slog with the FAA. Will my situation require mandatory participation in AA and submit urine tests? I don't mind doing anything of that nature, however the timeline involved and the fact that this might set me back up to a year before I can even begin flying feels like such an insurmountable road block at this juncture of my life. Feeling incredibly defeated as I just been set up with a friend for a flight school and had been reenergized about my new life path. @bbchien ive seen you are the resident expert. Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Giuliano
 
Hello All,…

Giuliano
Search is your friend, this question is answered many times in the medical topics forum. The FAAs answers don’t change based on being the bartender that doesn’t drink.
 
What a horrible way to respond to a new prisoner of this system! It will be an uphill battle tbh but it can be done. Be prepared to sacrifice fundamentally who you are as a human being so that the FAA can force mold you into the good little sheep they want you to be! It is a major pain in the ass but change is coming! Until that happens though you must cower and bend to the will that is the FAA. It’s sad but that is our current reality! Welcome to the suck!!!
 
Search is your friend, this question is answered many times in the medical topics forum. The FAAs answers don’t change based on being the bartender that doesn’t drink.
I Understand, I was merely trying to illustrate that I have spent the last 10 years working around alcohol and have zero issues with it. the incident occurred one month after I turned 21 with no history of drinking before or after. I was hoping to hear some positive experiences from people that perhaps got through it a little faster than the 1-2 year timeline I keep reading about.
 
I Understand, I was merely trying to illustrate that I have spent the last 10 years working around alcohol and have zero issues with it. the incident occurred one month after I turned 21 with no history of drinking before or after. I was hoping to hear some positive experiences from people that perhaps got through it a little faster than the 1-2 year timeline I keep reading about.

Nope. The FAA is certifying that your history meets the letter of the law. Yours doesn’t, so unless you have the necessary documentation to prove sobriety to the FAA at application, they’ll defer or deny and send you a letter stating what steps you must take.

If you follow the links in the doc I provided in your other thread, you’ll see what the oath looks like.
 
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