If you are a pilot that has been convicted of a DUI, the offense can be damaging to your career. For some jobs, an employer won’t find out about your DUI. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has the power to revoke your pilot license, will learn about your DUI. This could put your job in danger because the FAA takes DUI offenses seriously.
The average person faces difficulties and stress when charged with a DUI. But, the consequences for a pilot can be more severe. This is due to the fact that showing reckless behavior while operating a vehicle can cause an airline to fire you. Also, it is difficult to be hired by another airline if you have a DUI on your record. DUI impact on pilots can be serious. If you are a pilot that has been charged with a DUI, you need to understand the potential consequences that you face.
DUI and FAA
If you are a pilot that has received a DUI, you must report it to the FAA. The 14 CFR 61.15 states that all pilots are required to send a notification letter to the Security and Investigative Division of the FAA. They must do this within 60 days of receiving any alcohol related conviction. This includes a DUI conviction. Because a DUI conviction will go on your driving record, you can’t hide your DUI from the FAA or your employer. This is something that they can easily look up. If it comes out that you lied to the FAA, your pilot license can be revoked or suspended. Also, you could be in danger of losing your job.
A letter of notification must be sent to the FAA for every alcohol related offense. Even if you only receive a suspension of your license, you have to inform the FAA. A separate letter of notification must be mailed if you are actually convicted of a DUI. The FAA will find out about your DUI. This could potentially affect your job security and your likelihood of being hired by another airline company in the future. If you have been convicted of a DUI, the FAA will probably assess you to determine if you are dependant on alcohol and if this will affect your job. They will have to determine if you are fit to keep your pilot license.
Protecting Your Rights
While getting a DUI will not automatically end your career as a pilot, it can lead to speculation as to whether you are fit to be a pilot or not. If you are not yet a pilot and you receive a DUI, it can affect your chances of obtaining a pilot license. Your particular case will depend on how you handle the situation, because if you report the DUI and show that you are still a capable pilot with no alcohol dependency, the chances of you keeping your license and job are good. However, your company may decide that you are a liability and fire you. In this way, receiving a DUI can affect your job and your ability to work. To protect your job, you need to hire a DUI lawyer to help you through the process.