What are the consequences of being charged or convicted of a DUI in Kentucky if I carry a Pilot's License?
In Kentucky, if you are convicted of a DUI and carry a Pilot's License the consequences are a lot more severe than almost any DUI (much more so than a regular motor vehicle DUI and even more so than a CDL DUI) due to the rigid reporting requirements and the seriousness of the matter to the FAA due to the person's airman (or airwoman) status.
Similar to the per se limit for CDL licensees, the per se limit for a Pilot is 0.04. See 14 CFR 91.17(a)(4). Furthermore, 14 CFR 91.17 prohibits one from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember aboard a civil aircraft:
Furthermore, A crewmember must, on request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a test to indicate the alcohol concentration in the blood or breath. See 14 CFR 91.17(c). And the test must be taken within 4 hours of acting or attempting to act as a crewmember and the results must be submitted to the FAA. See 14 CFR 91.17(d).
Committing an act prohibited by § 91.17(a) or refusing to submit to a test (14 CFR 61.16) is grounds for:
Pilots MUST provide a written report, called a Notification Letter, (in .doc MS Word Format) of the DUI to the FAA, no later than 60 days if one of three situations occurs (see below). Failing to report is worse than being charged because to the FAA that implies your intent to conceal such information from them and the sanctions for failing to report are very heavy and very severe. The consequences will likely be a lot less severe if you notify the FAA. If you discover the reporting requirement after the 60 days, but before the FAA gets wind of your suspension or conviction, the FAA will view it as a mitigating factor. The written report must be sent to:
What motor vehicle occurrences MUST be reported to the FAA via Notification Letter:
Each event must be reported in a separate written report. For example, if you refused to take the Intoxilyzer 5000EN test, and as a result your license is suspended, that must be reported within 60 days of the suspension. Then, if you get convicted of the DUI or decide to plea guilty, that must be reported as a separate written report within 60 days of the conviction. Even if the two events occur simultaneously, each must be reported separately. In the example above, the FAA will nevertheless regard the two written reports (one for the suspension and one for the conviction) as emanating from the same, one, incident .
What information must be included in the written report:
If you are convicted of DUI due to registering a breathalyzer result above a 0.04 or are found to have had controlled substances in your system, or have more than one motor vehicle incident (see above) in a period of three (3) years, you are facing a:
When applying for an aviation medical exam, the following factors will affect your ability to receive a medical certificate in order to obtain your Pilot's License:
Attempting to conceal the DUI from the FAA is the worst possible solution as any suspension is reported to the National Driver Registry (NDR) and the FAA checks each of their registrant's periodically. You will not be able to escape the FAA's wrath, so it's better to report.
Special Note: As a Pilot with a Pilot's License, you run the risk of losing your job or your license by simply being charged with a DUI, let alone convicted, due to the position you are in. Consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney if you carry a Pilot's License.
If you are a Licensed Pilot and need assistance with a DUI charge, you need competent and experienced counsel to help you with your case. Your entire career may be at stake. Do not delay, call the DUI Guy today.