1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Another Medical Deferral question... Alcohol

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by B0432, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. B0432

    B0432 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know this issue has been posted several times, i have been getting very conflicting opinions from different "professionals" about an issue.

    Basically to sum it all up, i had an arrest 11years ago for DWI, no conviction... Blew under .15. This was before i held any kind of certificate or medical. Not sure that matters but some i have talked to say it does... Last year an arrest for DWI again non conviction, again under the .15 Bac.

    Only administrative actions with drivers license came of both of these.. All charges/records were expunged from 11 years ago after completing 2 year probation... I have still reported arrest on medical every year even tho it was expunged.
    FAA is asking for all court/police reports on both offenses, personal statement, past 10yrs of driving record. The record from 11 years ago again was expunged so it does not show up on any of my state driving record, but i report it none the less...
    I have seen people post about this same letter, it specifically says on the letter i have not been denied. They just want more information to see if im in compliance. Also like other posts I have seen, they are not asking me to do a substance abuse evaluation, only provide all documents of offenses and record with personal statement, no evaluation is required by them as of now.

    My understanding is that everyone that gets this letter is usually required to do an eval along with everything else i have listed.

    My question is, should i just do an eval ahead of time and send with the info they request? Even though not required to do so at this point? Time is of an issue as i fly for a living... Only a month until my current 2nd class expires.

    Thank you for any info.
     
  2. B0432

    B0432 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do realize i am at the mercy of the Faa here and my time issue to them does not matter, i also realize these offenses were my doing and i have had to suffer the consequences of them especially this last one.
    With that said this has been a sobering experience and i have immensely changed my drinking habits. I didnt drink that much before i had this last offense. Really dont drink but seldomly now since, and certianly do not even touch a vehicle even only having a single drink...

    Just asking for some info, not asking to be judged for my stupid mistakes as I know i am my worst critic with this issue.
    Thanks
     
  3. Seggy

    Seggy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    17,104
    Likes Received:
    7,190
  4. N961EA

    N961EA New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    7
    I had an OVI arrest 4 yrs ago; didn't report it to FAA then (had no clue); I reported it last summer while renewing my 2nd class medical, gave them all the info, got my medical approved, then got a letter that no more action is required and that they will keep this info on file for 3 years then purge it.
     
  5. AAPalmTree

    AAPalmTree Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    2,535
  6. B0432

    B0432 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Called the folks at aviation medicine in the link... Told me that they dont see my circumstances being denied a medical and need to just wait to hear from Faa.

    Got a letter in the mail yesterday, application for new medical denied and require me to do HIMS. I am temporarily grounded, meaning cant even use 3rd class privileges until i do the Hims evaluation and get the outcome of that....
    Worked hard for 10 years to get where i am today... And its all taken away just like that. To anyone out there, its not worth it. Even if u only have a couple drinks. Have someone else drive or sleep in your vehicle.

    Awaiting my eval now hopefully next week....
     
  7. Bob Ridpath

    Bob Ridpath Pit Bull love

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    2,414
     
  8. Bob Ridpath

    Bob Ridpath Pit Bull love

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    2,414
    I'm sorry for your trouble, honestly. What follows is not meant for the OP, but for those who desire a different future.

    Just don't. Don't drink and drive. Ever, not even "one with dinner." Find a designated driver. Use Uber. Call a cab. Drink at home. Draw an unyielding line, and don't cross it.

    Don't drink and drive.

    Ever.

    The cab or Uber fare is nothing compared to legal fees, HIMS time and expense, the loss of a dream ...

    I personally drink like a fish, and enjoy a fine beverage ... at home, or with a designated driver. No teetotaler, I work in a system where I see daily the cost to individuals and families of poor choice. This forum is rife with examples of those who paid a price far greater than they imagined until the moment they were caught "just over the limit" and a dream began to fade.

    It is never, ever worth the cost of a DWI or DWAI (driving while intoxicated or with ability impaired).

    Just don't.

    Ever.

    And for God's sake, don't just sleep in your car if you have been drinking - at least in New York State. Get home in a cab, with Uber, or a designated driver, if you won't blow a clean breathalyzer. It can AND DOES serve here as prima facie evidence of DWI or DWAI.

    End of sermon ...
     
    Itchy likes this.
  9. B0432

    B0432 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said sir, but uber or a taxi is not available in rural america where i live. Still no excuse i understand that.
    Thank you for being respectful and not chastising like alot of others would.
    Also where im from if keys are not in ignition and your impaired sleeping in your vehicle you are within the law.
     
  10. Cptnchia

    Cptnchia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    9,795
    Same in the Carolinas. There has to be intent to drive. Either keys in ignition, or in your hand. Place them under the front seat and sleep in the back and you're GTG.
     
  11. Joe123

    Joe123 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    I know this is an old thread, but....

    This is absolutely terrible legal advice. Intent has nothing to do with whether you are charged with DUI/OVI. If you get legal advice it should be from an attorney familiar with the unique issues related to your status as an airman. A good example of this is following the general "don't blow in a breathalyzer" advice. Do not listen to this unless you understand the consequences for your medical status by doing so. Refuse to blow and you're going to lose your drivers, and get to see how much the FAA loves pilots who play that game.

    Most state DUI laws are based on "operating" or "physical control" of a vehicle while impaired or intoxicated. In most states physical control=you in the vehicle with the keys easily accessible. They do not have to be in the ignition. Some states, such as the SC and NC, have specified physical control as the vehicle running or in motion. Most states can charge you with some form of operating while impaired even if you breathalyze under the legal limit. In most DUI cases where you blow >.08 you will be charged with the >.08 DUI statute and a generic driving while "impaired" statute. If you refuse to blow you will most likely still be charge with the "impaired" statute.

    You will have to report any alcohol related conviction or administrative action under "14 CFR 61.15". You will have to report any ARREST, conviction, OR administrative action on your next medical application. These 2 reporting requirements are not related to one another and constitute separate requirements. You will typically report these on subsequent medical applicaitons as "Previously reported, no change.". The FAA does NOT care about the expungement/sealing of convictions, and most likely will still have access to sealed/expunged records anyway.

    An encounter with law enforcement while you're intoxicated and the sole occupant inside a vehicle is not going to go well. They will attempt to gather evidence and prove that you at some point "operated" or had "physical control" of the vehicle. All it takes is your drunken admission that you ran the engine a bit to warm up, a warm hood, or any other evidence the officer documents. Read a few DUI police reports and you'll see how much leeway officers have with the facts. Your contrary testimony will be worthless after you breathalyze legally drunk or refuse the test. At a minimum, there's high probability you're walking away with a public intoxication or trespassing citation. All wonderful highlights on any job application. They also look great on any type of psychological evaluation for measuring your impulse control and judgment.

    Realize that DUIs and public intoxication are not the only way you're risking your medical if you drink. There are plenty of complications from heavy alcohol usage that can raise the suspicion of an AME or your family doctor. Let's say you get a condition not related to alcohol and the FAA requests further documentation... say high blood pressure. A note of elevated liver enzymes, shifts in normal blood work, a that you still drink despite advice of adverse consequences to your condition, or a note of "suspicion of moderate to heavy alcohol use" that makes it in front of the FAA and you're going to be answering more questions.

    It's real simple. If you like to fly and you like to drink you better proceed responsibly with your drinking. If you're going to drink you shouldn't be anywhere near any motor vehicle or situation where you'll interact with law enforcement. You also better make sure you don't let your drinking get out of control. Regardless of anyone's opinion about the situation, heavy alcohol use and aviation are incompatible in our current operating environment.

    This is all bad enough for private pilots on 3rd class medicals. If you fly professionally (or have aspirations to) and you find yourself sleeping it off in your car in a bar parking lot your drinking is NOT under control or
    "normal". If these comments upset your or give you pause, I strongly recommend some serious soul searching. You're risking a lot more than just a hobby for a "few" beers.

    I'm telling you from first hand experience. Unless you like to part with significant sums of cash (+$10,000), and copious amounts of time you do NOT want to get in the crosshairs of the FAA medical establishment with a substance abuse issue.














    "14 CFR 61.15
     
    Roger Roger, Bob Ridpath and Acrofox like this.

Share This Page