Will I be required to do the HIMS program?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Max Burn, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello, I have a 3rd class medical and I will have it till 2024. I got a dui last year. The dui didn’t involve and accident or injury. I blew a .15 and a .13. I understand that the .15 is over the level for a regular AME to issue a medical. I am confused whether I will be required to do HIMS. I have heard that it can be up to the FAA and AME on an individual level, and I have heard it is required automatically. Does anyone have any information or what really happens? Also, if I do need to do HIMS am I going to have to do all the rehab and other stuff or is it just a special AME who examines my case? I am a young guy and just graduated college. I have never had an issue with alcohol I just made a mistake. I have been to AA and have done tons of community service and other activities to prove I am not a drunk. Thank you for the help.
     
  2. jstone

    jstone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Did you report the dui to the faa? You need to report the dui to the faa and also on your next medical application. If you’re just flying for fun you should just go to basic med because the faa will probably make you do HIMS and require you to spend thousands of dollars and possibly have to do this for life since HIMS dependence diagnosis is now lifetime monitoring.
     
  3. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes I have reported it. I have a lawyer taking care of all of it. Making sure I don’t mess any of that up. I would love a career in aviation but I don’t know if I can afford the HIMS program. What is the extent of the HIMS program if it is a lifetime program now? Will I be randomly tested and having to attend counseling for the rest of my life?
     
  4. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    You will basically never be allowed to drink ever again and will be forever monitored under the program unless there are legal challenges to the policy or a change of politics within aeromedical.
     
  5. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    But is that only if I am deemed a “dependent”
     
  6. jstone

    jstone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yes, but with .15 you will probably be marked as dependent. If I were you I would go basic med and if you still want to go commercial/atp down the line you can start going thru the steps for HIMS. This way you don’t have to stop flying.
     
  7. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    Is there anything I can do to help me not get labeled a dependent. And I take tests now to submit the FAA Do show I am not a dependent
     
  8. Tarheelpilot

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    Buy a time machine and not get the dui.

    but seriously ask @bbchien he can answer with expertise

    I really doubt you will not be dependent in the eyes of the state. If you had a .15 any claims of non dependence will be used as evidence of your dependency.
     
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  9. Tools

    Tools Pre-Flight

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    Get the hims nightmare book. .16 requires eval, .20 requires treatment. Yours ain’t a done deal, finding a good AME is the best you can do right now. But it’s quite likely...
     
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  10. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    This is probably a good page to start with. Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners (faa.gov)

    Drill down through this and learn it inside and out. Because you are single incident, BAC >= .15, the AME will fill out the worksheet and may be able to issue a medical during an exam.

    However, to reach that bar, you'll need to do a lot of work, starting with abstinence now. I'm not going to get into details because it's an area that I don't know a lot about. My advice is a consult with an AME to understand the standards so you can show complete seriousness about compliance.
     
  11. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    Does the FAA take an average of the two results? Because both were taken by a road side breathalyzer one after the other. So the average would be a .14
     
  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The road side test is inadmissible. The test at the police station will be the official test. As your attorney probably explained to you, .15 is considered a super DUI under the laws of most states. The reality is you were totally hammered and opted to drive. I’d expect the FAA to open an investigation and go after your medical certificate if the official test is .15 and it is HIMS to get another.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  13. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    If drinking is more important to you then flying, you are dependent.
     
  14. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is wrong. There is almost zero chance you will be issued a medical in-office, and the only reason I put "almost" is because an airman recently posted who was issued a medical by a doc who made this mistake. That airman now finds himself in a bit of an unusual situation because the FAA is asking for everything as if the medical was deferred, yet he already has the medical certificate. The link bflynn posted does contain the correct information, and that is that the doc is required to defer the medical to the FAA with a BAC of 0.15 or higher. You might as well go ahead and engage with a HIMS AME via a consult and have all of your ducks in a row before you go in for the medical exam.

    I think you'll be diagnosed with Dependence for at least one reason (maybe more): You were operating a vehicle at a BAC that the FAA says a normal person should not be able to operate a vehicle. This demonstrates alcohol tolerance. This means Dependance. It's that simple.

    One more thing, there's nothing you can do proactively now to "show" that you are not dependent. It will be determined based on your past and if diagnosed there is no undoing it. And if diagnosed, you're most likely going to have a lot of expenses the first 2 years, a big decline after that but still some extra for the next 4 years, then not a whole lot after that. I think.........

    My advice is worth what you paid for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  15. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    I never had an official test taken. The only test was the one done on the side of the road.
     
  16. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    This isn't zero chance, there IS a path to get issued in the exam. Whether or not the FAA is going to ask for everything they've already been given is irrelevant to that in office issuance.



    upload_2020-12-14_16-27-47.png


    Alcohol Event Status Report for the AME


    The status report states - "If ALL items fall into the clear column, the AME may issue with notes in Block 60 but must submit all documents to the FAA."

    What is going to happen next when the FAA reviews will depend on how completely the information is filled in.
     
  17. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    The only item that is not clear would be my BAC. Like I said above the only test I had was a breathalyzer done on the side of the road by a cop. There were two samples taken. One was a .13 and one was a .15. They never took an official test at the station. The courts have been charging me for a DUI under .15. Which is part of my confusion.
     
  18. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The status report has the qualifier about the BAC being equal to or higher than 0.15 and requiring deferral if that is the case. I guess based on the specific circumstances of it being a roadside test it might not qualify as being 0.15? If so, then yeah there's a chance.

    Dr. Bruce? What about roadside tests vs. the official machine at the station? Do both count?
     
  19. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Weird. The first page directs you to fill out a report that you're going to fail.
     
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  20. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    In that case the FAA will accept the DUI conviction and the evidence associated with the case, which will be the higher value of the test you voluntarily submitted to. Aviation law is civil and you don’t enjoy the protections of the criminal system.
     
  21. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are going to treat you as 0.15.......
     
  22. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    He is not eligible to fly under Basic Med.
     
  23. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    Correct. See § 68.9(a)(1)(iv):

    (a) General. An individual who has met the qualifications to operate an aircraft under §61.113(i) of this chapter and is seeking to serve as a pilot in command under that section must have completed the process for obtaining an Authorization for Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate for each of the following:
    (1) A mental health disorder, limited to an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of—
    . . .
    (iv) A substance dependence within the previous 2 years, as defined in §67.307(a)(4) of this chapter.
     
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  24. jstone

    jstone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Wouldn’t a professional of some type have to diagnose him with that? And until that happens he can still use basicmed?
     
  25. allPrimes

    allPrimes Pre-Flight

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    I think that the FAA has defined "dependence" as anyone that has had a DUI or, at least, accepting the NTSB recommendations related to DUIs has allowed them to apply the "dependence" term to anyone that has received a DUI.
     
  26. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    The definition is in § 67.307(a)(4):
    (4) Substance dependence, except where there is established clinical evidence, satisfactory to the Federal Air Surgeon, of recovery, including sustained total abstinence from the substance(s) for not less than the preceding 2 years. As used in this section—
    (i) “Substance” includes: alcohol; other sedatives and hypnotics; anxiolytics; opioids; central nervous system stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and similarly acting sympathomimetics; hallucinogens; phencyclidine or similarly acting arylcyclohexylamines; cannabis; inhalants; and other psychoactive drugs and chemicals; and
    (ii) “Substance dependence” means a condition in which a person is dependent on a substance, other than tobacco or ordinary xanthine-containing (e.g., caffeine) beverages, as evidenced by—
    (A) Increased tolerance;
    (B) Manifestation of withdrawal symptoms;
    (C) Impaired control of use; or
    (D) Continued use despite damage to physical health or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning.

    If you go through the process for BasicMed, you will agree to an NDR check. The DUI will come up, and § 68.11 apply:

    (a) If the Administrator receives credible or urgent information, including from the National Driver Register or the Administrator's Safety Hotline, that reflects on an individual's ability to safely operate an aircraft under §61.113(i) of this chapter, the Administrator may require the individual to provide additional information or history so that the Administrator may determine whether the individual is safe to continue operating under that section.

    (b) The Administrator may use credible or urgent information received under paragraph (a) to request an individual to provide additional information or to take actions under 49 U.S.C. 44709(b).


    You will be asked about the DUI, just as if you applied for a medical certificate. If the Federal Air Surgeon determines there is substance dependance without satisfactory recovery, you will be notified as such, disqualifying you from operating under BasicMed.
     
  27. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    So I am a little confused. I thought I was eligible for basic med if the dui was 2 years ago and I showed no current signs of alcohol dependence, and if the incident was explained to the doctor.
     
  28. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Pre-Flight

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    The FAA uses the FAR definition of substance dependence, not the DSM definition of dependence used by "normal" doctors. The FAR definition is much more stringent than the one used by the general medical community.

    You need to hit ONE of the 4 conditions for dependence listed under 67.307(a)(4)(ii). Your issue will be that .15 is the de factor threshold for demonstration of increased tolerance. You meet the criteria for 67.307(a)(4)(ii)(A) - Increased Tolerance. If the FAA treats your DUI as .15 BAC (highly likely as Dr. Chien has opined and he knows more about this than any of us) you're substance dependent.

    That alone puts you in a holding pattern for 2 years with BasicMed. You could avoid the 2 year wait by getting a single special issuance for substance dependence. The SI could easily take you 2 years to obtain depending on your situation.

    Your real issue is that the FAA could revoke your medical. If your medical ends up revoked you'll be ineligible for BasicMed and have no other option but to obtain the 1 time SI for dependence. That means HIMS.

    BasicMed is still young and there's not a lot of "case law" around it. The 2 year "expiration" for substance dependence is one of the areas where it's not quite clear how the FAA would handle an airman that met the criteria for substance dependence, didn't have a medical revoked, waited 2 years after the diagnosis and then flew.
     
  29. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    When I talked to an aviation lawyer they said the FAA wouldn’t take any action on my medical after I reported it and that it would only take issue when I went to renew the medical.
     
  30. Tarheelpilot

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    Ok. So... did you think that meant the dui was not an issue ?
     
  31. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    No I knew it was an issue and so did the lawyer however no one said that in reporting the DUI that I would possibly loose my current medical.
     
  32. KeepWatch

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    Someone who is charged with a DUI but not convicted, and has no action taken on their drivers license, is not even required to report the incident until their next medical exam. At the time of the medical exam the applicant may be deferred and eventually denied a medical based on the circumstances of the event.

    So yeah, I think what your attorney described is likely. In the meantime, you could go ahead and engage with a HIMS AME and be putting all of your ducks in a row before applying for your next medical. This will greatly reduce the amount of time you'll be down without a medical.
     
  33. Max Burn

    Max Burn Filing Flight Plan

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    So I have another question. If I apply for a 1st or 2nd class medical now and it gets deferred for HIMS will I then loose my current medical
     
  34. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This brings up another question that is hypothetical but not unrelated to the OP:

    Say a pilot has a 3rd class medical that expires December 31, 2022. The pilot has a DUI arrest that will need to be reported on the next medical exam that warrants an automatic deferral by the AME. The pilot goes in for the 3rd class medical exam 18 months before the expiration of the pilot's current medical certificate. When the application is deferred, does the pilot's current medical become invalid? Or can the pilot still exercise the privileges under the existing medical while waiting to hear back from the FAA?

    EDIT: OP beat me to it!
     
  35. Tarheelpilot

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    Ahh
    I’m not an expert but anecdotal knowledge: the two friends with dui’s were both able to keep current medical. No idea if that’s the same for you.
     
  36. ThatOtherGuy

    ThatOtherGuy Pre-Flight

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    In most states when you fail the breathalyzer your license is administratively suspended immediately. That constitutes an alcohol related administrative action and that IS reportable immediately. If you're ultimately convicted of the DUI you're required to report that as an additional event when the conviction occurs.
     
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  37. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not only is “that other guy” correct, but the minute you walk out with a deferral, you ARE DOWN. It in the opinions and interpretations pages I think under “Tilton”. But I need to be at my desktop to find it.

    Poor (as in not excellent) lawyer. He parsed only the parts of the statute of which he was aware. He wasn’t aware of the NDR report that is part of Basic med...and then the evaluation letter arrives.....most attorneys don’t get that this is administrative procedure...and to give advice they need to “get” administrative procedures as well.

    That is what galls me about that 4-letter GA organization selling that attorney who set “no dependency after 2 years”. He doesn’t get that FAA has authority over the definition....give false hope...costs pilots time in which they could be proving sobriety....and making the clock run in their favor.....

    You cannot “wait out” dependency. The system is “robustly built”.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  39. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That depends on what it was. If it was a portable breath test (which it probably was), then it's inadmissible in COURT in just about all states (unless the driver is under 21). Occasionally, they will drag an admissible intoxilizer out to the field (usually things like DUI checkpoints). Those are admissible.
     
  40. Tarheelpilot

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    Roadside BAC might not be admissible in criminal court but the FAA is not a criminal procedure. It’s administrative law. The roadside test will most definitely be looked at by the FAA.

    One of my friends that found themselves on the wrong side of the FAA was found not guilty of the dui in court but was in HIMS on a SI with the FAA.