Two dui arrests and a public intoxication charge.

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Just want to fly again, Nov 14, 2022.

  1. I am 29 years old, I was arrested for a dui when I was 24 but the case was thrown out. I had a current 1st class medical at the time so reported the occurrence to the FAA. The first arrest is not on my record at all. Unfortunately 8 months ago I made an incredibly stupid decision and got arrested again for another dui in which I have been given a deferred sentence meaning it will not go on my record and my lawyer is going to expunge the arrest record. This put me in terrible state of mind Thinking I had ruined my lifelong dream that I ended up continuing to drink and getting a public intoxication charge for walking home from a friends house. Literally wasn’t doing anything but walking and they stopped me. I know it’s not an excuse it was just very unfortunate. I have been sober since.

    my question is, is there any chance I could still get a first or second class medical again? Will I still be able to fly for a living in any possible way? Whether that means absolute abstinence from alcohol, going to a rehab facility or anything else I need to do, I would do it.

    Flying has been my lifelong dream and I am so terribly afraid I’ve lost it. It’s the only thing I have ever actually wanted in life. Is my future in aviation ruined?
     
  2. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    I'm not a doc and a real one will be along shortly. From what I've read over the years it seems there is always a way to go forward for the absolutely determined. The amount of time, money, aggravation, and real commitment might be discouraging though.

    BTW ... don't count on things being "expunged" and not available for the FAA to see ...
     
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  3. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Line Up and Wait

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    With what you shared, I suspect you have a long journey ahead.
     
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  4. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    the HIMS process is available to you.
     
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  5. robin ardoin

    robin ardoin Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Get sober first...nothing else matters until you do. After that, anything is possible. But, sobriety must come first...did I mention that?;)
     
  6. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like a tough road.
     
  7. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just a question, but does the fact that he was walking and not driving enter into it?
     
  8. mandm

    mandm Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I don’t understand why police would bother a drunk walking outside, seems well within your right to, and with freedom of speech even if you were screaming that would be your right to. We have plenty of high and drunk homeless roaming about the streets and police do nothing about it, so it’s mind boggling that this happened to you.

    If you drink and drive, don’t get caught. Drive a straight line :) if you cannot drive a straight line then don’t drink and drive.
     
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  9. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Well, he also has two DUIs, so I don't think the walking charge will be that important in the grand scheme of things.
     
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  10. Mason

    Mason En-Route

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    It's an alcohol charge. Doesn't matter to the FAA if it is driving, walking, boating, or skydiving.
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This, alcohol has f'd you twice, you have a problem, fix the problem. Drinking or flying, pick one, don't look back.
     
  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Public intoxication is usually illegal, and it’s quite possible he was being a nuisance. We almost certainly don’t have the entire story. It sounds as though there may be some issues with maturity and with decision making.

    HIMS will work for a disciplined person with self-control. At the moment that doesn’t seem to describe the OP.
     
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  13. Pilots Of America Management

    Pilots Of America Management MC Announcements and Communication Management Council Member

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    A reminder regarding the Medical Topics forum - From the Rules of Conduct:
    It is possible to answer the original poster's question without passing judgement on them personally. Please do so.

    Pilots of America Management
     
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  14. I should have mentioned I am still a student pilot. I haven’t been flying in a few years but was planning to go back to flight school this next year. Would the HIMS process still be available to me?
    Is continuing to pursue a career in aviation not a realistic goal at this point?
     
  15. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pattern Altitude

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    HIMS is for everyone who wishes to get a medical with substance abuse problems. Three charges relating to drunkenness will tip you squarely into the FAA's definition of an alcohol abuser. It will not be easy, but it is possible and open to student pilots.

    I think how realistic the airline goal is will depend on many things, such as your ability to completely abstain from alcohol and the amount of money you wish to keep in your pocketbook, among other things. I'm not in the airlines, so I can't tell you much about that in particular, but hopefully someone will chime in with more knowledge of what that entails with a history like yours and what your chances are of getting hired, etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
  16. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Now would be a good time to quit all alcohol for the rest of your life. Nothing good comes from it (as you have seen). There is a way forward most likely, but it is a long and expensive one.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  17. Magman

    Magman Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think there are a lot of folks like the OP.
    The difference is they didn’t get caught!

    Just sayin.
     
  18. Mason

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    And chances are good the OP did it many, many times without getting caught.
     
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  19. thank you for your input. I’m willing to deal with the hard and expensive road if it means I can still achieve my dream one day. I know that drinking has got to stop in it’s entirety and have been trying to take the steps to make sure I make the lifelong change and commitment.
     
  20. thanks for your input. I have been trying to take the steps to make this a lifelong change. Going to AA and seeing a counselor are just a few to mention. I know alcohol is not worth my dreams.
     
  21. thank you for the advice you have given. I know it’s going to be a hard road in front of me but I know it is worth it if I can still achieve my dream of flying. As far as the airlines go are they able to check expunged records? My hope now is that I will be able to get any job as a pilot not necessarily one with the airline. I know the FAA can see expunged records but could a potential employer see them? I know there will only be one dui and one public intoxication arrest on there, both non convictions. As for the first offense the case was completely thrown out and not on my record accept for the fact I reported it to the FAA when it happened.
     
  22. Before my first one yes. After that I did not do it again until the night I was arrested and I am being completely honest about that. I have no reason to lie on here. I know the statistics but I wasn’t one of them. Not here to defend my actions and I know this is all my own fault. Just here for advice on how to move forward with my life and dream.
     
  23. Magman

    Magman Cleared for Takeoff

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    My comment should have included that some of those same folks succeeded as you plan to do.
     
  24. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    It’s a no brainer. Lots of airline pilots with multiple points, relapses while in HIMS, etc.

    It just means you’ll get the full schedule of fun, inpatient rehab, lots of meetings and counseling, AA until you’re fully indoctrinated, lots of peeing in a jar. Quite a bit of cash. Probably a year or two.
     
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  25. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But it's a one shot deal, another misstep and you are done. Remember that.
     
  26. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Final Approach

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    Yes. If the OP hasn't completely stopped drinking they should do so now. Completely. And forever.
    I stopped drinking because a close relative had serious alcohol issues. When I did, I realized my "hangout" friends were drunken idiots. I got new friends.
     
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True, but those personal judgements help us understand that the FAA's zero tolerance policy toward this and many other things has a source. Simply reflects us.
     
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  28. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Sigh, I was drunk, but I did drive a straight line."

    "Then what happened?"

    "There was a curve."
     
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  29. flyingron

    flyingron Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    At this point with his history, even for recreational flying, medical certification is going to be conditionalized on COMPLETE ABSTINENCE and testing to prove it.
     
  30. Would having that on my medical deter employers from hiring me? Would it even be possible to get a first or second class medical? If I can stay completely abstinent and work the HIMS program can I still achieve my goals?
     
  31. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    you are young and have an opportunity to turn your life around:

    begin total flying lifetime abstinence - contact Sandy ext 113 at https://www.neweradrugtesting.com/ and begin urine and drug testing ( 14 tests in 12 months to include drugs and EtG) - weekly AA AND weekly group meetings of a sobriety community led by a facilitator - then find a HIMS AME in your area as he/she will then control the show and unleash upon you the HIM$ doctors and processes.
     
  32. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    HIMS is your path forward. It will be expensive and annoying, but with 3 incidents, it is your path. Needless to say, you must avoid alcohol completely, no excuse.

    Start now, you're not getting younger.
     
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  33. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First, the present...

    14 CFR 61.15 lays out part of your DUI reporting requirements. If you held any certificate (including student pilot which has no expiration date) during each of these arrests AND a "motor vehicle action" (see 14 CFR 61.15(c)) occurred a report is required. In most cases 2 reports for each DUI would be required. The first would be a report when the state immediately administratively suspends a license because of a BAC failure or refusal. The second would be required if the person is convicted. You need to evaluate whether you've met the reporting requirements for each DUI.

    There's also another issue. If you end up in a situation where you have to report 2 MVAs within 3 years 14 CFR 61.15(d) allows the FAA to deny any additional ratings for a year and potentially suspend or revoke any certificate, rating, or authorization. Sounds like you had more than a 3 year gap so you should be ok for this.

    Now for the future....

    As you're aware expungement means nothing to the FAA. You'll have to answer questions from the FAA or employers prefaced with "Have you ever...." honestly regardless of expungement/sealing status. All of this will have to be reported to the AME during the next medical exam. Get used to the concepts of honesty and integrity in relation to the effects alcohol has had on your life. True recovery from substance dependence isn't realistic without those concepts.

    You're going to end up with a FAR diagnosis of Substance Dependence. The pertinent reg for 1st class medicals is 14 CFR 67.107(a)(4). You check the boxes for at least "Impaired control of use" and "Continued use despite damage to physical health or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning.". I'd wager you probably also meet the "Increased Tolerance" criteria.

    This is going to take years and you're going to spend at least $15k. This money will be on psychiatrists, psychologists, psychological testing, substance abuse professionals, alcohol monitoring fees, AME exams/follow ups, and possible travel depending on your proximity to a HIMS AME.

    You'll need to demonstrate recovery from substance dependence which is not just abstinence. You'll be on some form of alcohol monitoring (and paying for it) for as long as you hold an FAA medical. If you are issued a medical it will be contingent on abstinence from all mood altering substances. To state it plainly, you can not ever drink again as long as you hold a medical.

    I can't speak directly to whether it will hurt your chances getting hired at a 121 operation. I'm not a professional pilot. I'll give you my view as some GA pilot on the Internet. The industry goes through cycles on pilot labor. Right now there is a major pilot shortage. There are many pilots flying on special issuance medicals for a number of conditions. Some of them in recovery from substance dependence. If you present as a qualified pilot holding a 1st class medical there are a multitude of employment laws that protect you against overt discrimination based on your medical history. That's not to say you wont run into covert discrimination, but what I can say with 100% certainty is you don't even get the chance without that medical certificate.

    As others have stated, if you want it bad enough is possible. The question is how bad do you want it?
     
  34. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like you're getting the tough love, straight talk above, so no need to reiterate any of that.

    I merely want to wish you a hearty "Good luck!" on your journey.

    Keep us updated on your progress. A lot of us are pulling for you.
     
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  35. OP here.
    I just want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to reply to my thread and give me their insight and advice. It has been well received and I am grateful for each one of you. it has been very eye opening and extremely helpful to me. I know that I have a real tough road ahead of me but this has given me hope again that I can still fulfill my dream.
     
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  36. Auren Weinberg

    Auren Weinberg Filing Flight Plan

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    Disclaimer: I am an AME and I work with a HIMS AME but am not HIMS trained yet myself.
    I agree that step one is to get sober and commit to it permanently. Some things that will help are AA, Birds of a Feather, and an intensive outpatient (or inpatient if you need it) program.
    Once you feel you are on the path to sobriety, go to see an experience HIMS AME. The HIMS AME will lay out the path ahead for you including estimated time, cost, and necessary steps.
     
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  37. Michael Castle

    Michael Castle Filing Flight Plan

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    To the OP- the HIMS program does work for those who embrace it. Airlines do hire pilots who have alcoholism but are in compliance with HIMS protocol and abstain. At least two of the major airlines, one which is based in Atlanta does hire these pilots who have been through the program prior to interview. What they want to see is that the pilot has taken bona fide action to deal with the substance abuse, and has a history of success with an abstinence program. More importantly, the pilot recognizes a problem and has taken responsibility to embrace lifelong abstinence.
    As a young person, it may seem that giving up alcohol forever is hard to do. Our current culture embraces alcohol as a fun way to relax. Giving up alcohol has a lot of benefits (health, state of mind and monetary) and you may find yourself a lot more resilient to the worries that happen in any life without alcohol as a crutch. It may take a few years to discover this, but if you take up abstinence and go through the effort to continue your dream even with this extra load - you may find the effort makes achieving the dream more worthwhile than before.
    Good luck with your life journey, keep us updated on how you do.
     
  38. robin ardoin

    robin ardoin Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    ^^^^^^^^^^*

    Well said.
     
  39. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I like hearing this. We're rooting for you. You can do it.
     
  40. danhagan

    danhagan En-Route

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    See below ...

    See below ...

    Have a CFI buddy that partied with previous students into the wee hours of the morning, then attended some CFI meeting in one of our local hangars, near noon, in July super high heat ... he passed out, was taken to hospital, told them about staying up late and some drinking ... that info entered on medical record at ER ... ended up messing up his medical renewal when he listed previous medical care ... he had to go through the process below and he wasn't even walking:eek: