New Jersey motorists who are convicted of operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs lose their driving privileges and can be fined and sent to jail. Pilots who are convicted on DWI charges can lose their livelihoods as well. Some pilots think that remaining quiet after a drunk driving conviction will keep them in the air, but they are mistaken. Drunk driving convictions are reported to the National Driver Register, which shares information with the Federal Aviation Authority. This means that failing to report a DWI to the FAA will be discovered sooner or later.
Reporting a DWI to the FAA
Pilots are required to report all alcohol or drug-related motor vehicle administrative actions to the FAA within 60 days. Being convicted of DWI is an alcohol-related motor vehicle administrative action, and so is a driver’s license suspension or revocation for refusing to submit to a chemical test. The FAA must be notified about alcohol or drug-related motor vehicle administrative actions in writing, and notification letters must be sent to the agency’s Civil Action Security Division. Sending notification letters to an FAA Flight Standards District Office is a violation of the reporting procedure that can lead to a pilot’s certification being suspended or revoked.
Airman Medical Certificates
Drug or alcohol-related arrests must also be listed on a pilot’s Airman Medical Certificate. Pilots are required to disclose DWI arrests when they apply for or renew their Airman Medical Certificates, but this disclosure does not automatically lead to their applications being rejected. The FAA makes that decision after studying the facts of the case. Applications submitted by pilots with DWIs are scrutinized closely, but they may be approved.
Staying on the right side of the rules
Pilots who are arrested for drinking and driving or refuse to submit to chemical tests must notify the FAA within 60 days, and they must also disclose their DWIs or driver’s license suspensions when they renew their Airman Medical Certificates. The FAA must be notified about drug or alcohol-related motor vehicle administrative actions in writing, and notification letters must be sent to the agency’s security division in Oklahoma City.