Pilots and DUI/OVI
Being charged with a normal (vehicular) DUI or OVI can be troublesome, however if you are an airplane pilot and are charged with a DUI or OVI, things can get much worse in a hurry. If you are charged with a pilot's OVI, or an "FUI," you not only get a normal DUI/OVI, but you also have to send mandatory reporting and notifications to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
When You Cannot Fly
According to Title 14 Aeronautics and Space chapter § 91.17, civil pilots are held to certain standards where they cannot fly a plane (or even be a passenger on that plane). A person cannot fly or be a crewmember on that plane where that person:
- Has consumed an alcoholic beverage within 8 hours of the flight,
- Is under the influence of alcohol,
- Is under the influence of drugs,
- Is using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety, or
- Has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen.
Notice that the 0.04% alcohol concentration is lower than the normal BAC levels for a driver of a vehicle of 0.08% (this is literally half the legal level). This shows how important the law takes flying under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
NOTE: An airman's license can be suspended or revoked because the airman fails a blood or breath test, or refuses to take the test.
Unless there is an emergency situation of some sort, allowing a person aboard an aircraft with one or more of the above factors is illegal. A key example of this would be a medical flight where someone is very intoxicated and needs quick medical attention where the use of an air craft is needed.
Mandatory Reporting and Notifications
First and foremost, the person charged must send notification to the FAA's Security and Investigations Division within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action. This form can be found at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/media/Notification_Letter.doc
After sending this first notification for the alcohol-related incident, if the charge results in a conviction, the airman must send another notification letter to the FAA. This does not mean that the airman or pilot is being charged or convicted of two offenses—only one offense is on the conviction.
Notifications via postal mail must be sent to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Security and Investigations Division (AMC-700)
P.O. Box 25810
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Notifications via fax can be sent to:
Fax: (405) 954-4989
You are also encouraged to put specific pieces of information in your notification to speed up the process. These include:
- Name, Address, Date of Birth, Certificate Number, Telephone Number
- Type of Violation (conviction and/or administrative action)
- Date(s) of Action(s)
- State Holding the Record
- Driver License Number or State ID Number (if not licensed)
- Statement whether this relates to a Previously Reported MVA (Motor Vehicle Action)
Although penalties for FUI depend on each court and state in which the event occurred, the FAA can take the following actions including, but not limited to:
- Revocation, suspension, or cancellation of driver license for
- BAC test failure
- BAC test refusal
- Administrative per se orders
- 10-day civil revocations
- Express consent revocation/suspension
Have questions about your Airman DUI/OVI? Give The Meranda Law Firm, LTD a call where we can assist you through the reporting and notification process.