How Will an Arizona DUI Affect Your Pilot Privileges?

As this summer draws to a close, we say goodbye to days at the lake, camping trips, and weekend parties. No matter how old we get, the fun of having a few beers with our buddies will never get old. Hopefully, we have learned enough to line up a designated driver before the fun even begins, but occasionally, we slip up and misjudge our ability to get behind the wheel. When you have made a huge mistake and gotten arrested for a DUI, do you know how to proceed with the Federal Aviation Administration?

I’ve been arrested for my first DUI…do I need to tell the Federal Aviation Administration?

For this mishap, the answers can be found inside your FAR/AIM in FAR 61.15. The new FAA requirements state that any pilot involved in any motor vehicle action involving the use of drugs or alcohol must submit a detailed report.

You will have to send a written report within 60 days of the motor vehicle action to the FAA’s Civil Aviation Security Division in Oklahoma City. Your report will need to include all of the following information:

  • Your name, date of birth, telephone number, address, and airman certificate number;
  • The type and nature of violation that resulted in your conviction;
  • The date of your motor vehicle action;
  • The State holding the record of your conviction, and
  • Whether this motor vehicle action resulted from this particular incident or a previously reported one (this is important because civil and criminal actions are often separated by a significant portion of time, and both must be reported to the FAA).

While it can seem daunting to explain every detail of this to the FAA, it is incredibly important that you do so—failure to submit this report can automatically result in the suspension or revocation of your certificate, or denial of an application for new ratings or certificates.

Will the report to satisfy FAR 61.15 be enough?

In addition to the FAR 61.15 report, you will also need to provide your aviation medical examiner (AME) with court documents related to your offense at your next medical. The AME will likely review the documents and interview you to determine if you have a substance abuse problem. If you refused to give a blood sample or you were convicted of an extreme DUI, your information will be passed on to the Aeromedical Certification Division for further review.

What’s next?

Generally speaking, if this was your first offense and you have reported everything on-time and correctly, you will likely see no further action from the FAA. If you have more questions about the process, or feel as though you need further advice before disclosing the details of the event to the FAA, call the Phoenix aviation attorneys of Curry, Pearson & Wooten today at 602-258-1000 or toll free at 888-929-5292.