If you are a pilot who has been arrested for DUI, physical control, or other alcohol related criminal charge, we highly recommend that you contact an attorney familiar with the unique issues pilots face in these circumstances. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has various and strict reporting requirements and a mistake can end your ability to fly. When representing pilots, we routinely consult with an expert experienced in dealing with the FAA and pilot reporting.
Reporting Requirement for Convictions or Administrative Actions:
Under Federal law (14 CFR 61.15), a pilot must notify the FAA within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action. Separate notification letters for both a conviction and an administrative action must be sent, though the FAA will view it as one alcohol related incident. More information regarding reporting and forms can be found on the FAA web site.
Failure to send a Notification Letter within 60 days to the FAA is grounds for denial of an application for any certificate, rating, or authorization issued by the FAA.
Medical Reporting Requirements:
In addition to reporting administrative actions and convictions to the FAA, an airman must disclose any alcohol related issues in their application for a medical certificate. Substance abuse is considered a disqualifying medical condition for a pilot. Substance dependence is also a disqualifying medical condition unless there is clinical evidence of recovery including total abstinence for not less than the preceding two years.