Pilot Licenses and a DUI: What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate

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Pilot Licenses and a DUI: What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate

Pilot Licenses and a DUI:  What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate

DUI and Pilots

Pilot Licenses and DUI. You are a pilot.  You depend on your FAA Airman’s Certificate and License, and your Medical Certification, for your career.  And you know the FAA takes DUI cases seriously. If you get a DUI as a pilot, what do you need to do?  This article discusses Pilot Licenses and a DUI:  What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – Planning Ahead

Logic tells you that the best course of action is to plan ahead.  Using taxis, ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft, or the kidness of friends, avoids you driving without any substances in your system and avoids the problem Pilot Licenses and DUI from the beginning.

After their arrest, many pilots try to explain to the FAA the circumstances around their DUI event, and mention that they did not think they drank that much or how close they got pulled over to their home, or how much they needed to drive that night as a matter of necessity.

None of that matters to the FAA.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if arrested

The next thing to understand is to not refuse a breathalyzer test when the officer requests you to perform one. That is a “refusal” under California law, and in legal terminology the FAA views that as equivalent to a DUI, no matter whether or not you were truly impaired or over the legal limit.  With a California Driver’s License, you can suffer a one year hard suspension of your driving privileges if you refuse, and that action alone for holders of Pilot Licenses and DUI convictions can cause the FAA can pull your certificate, or take other actions, if you refuse.

Note that you must report to the FAA DMV actions or DUI arrest on the medical certification application in section 18(v) when you are arrested, not just when you are convicted. 

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if convicted

There are two things, as a pilot, that you also need to do when you are convicted of a DUI. Federal Aviation Regulation 61.15(e) states that when an airman is convicted of an action involving alcohol or drugs, a report must be made to the FAA Civil Aviation Security Division not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action. Pilot Licenses and DUI are a growing problem, so there is an <http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/> online form that you can download and submit to the security division: Online Airmen DUI Report.  (Under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must send a Notification Letter (MS Word) to the FAA Security and Investigations Division, within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action.)

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if you miss the deadline

Failure to send a Notification Letter within 60 days to FAA’s Security & Investigations Division is grounds for:

  • Denial of an application for any certificate, rating, or authorization issued under this regulation for up to one year after the date of the motor vehicle action
  • Suspension or revocation of any certificate, rating, or authorization issued under this regulation

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – your medical certification

The other reporting requirement is Item 18(v) on your next FAA medical application. The application requires that the applicant must report any arrests, or convictions, or administrative actions relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Please note that even if your DUI lawyer has the case dismissed, or the charges are reduced to anything below a DUI,  that result is still not an excuse not to report, as the arrest itself triggers mandatory reporting for Pilot Licenses and DUI! If you were pulled over, requested to perform a field sobriety test, and/or asked to perform a breathalyzer, that is reportable in the affirmative on the application, by itself.

Your FAA medical certificate is handled separately for Pilot Licenses and DUI, as alcohol abuse is treated as a potential physical or psychological issue.  The FAA medical personnel will then require your AME to obtain the arresting officer’s report, in addition to copies of the court records of your hearing.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – high alcohol levels

If your breathalyzer results are equal to or greater than 0.15 percent, you will need to provide a substance abuse evaluation. That will require you to locate a licensed counselor in substance abuse/dependence, or a psychologist or psychiatrist who has extra training in addiction medicine, and be evaluated. Depending on the results of the evaluation, you may be required to provide even more extensive (and expensive) evaluations. If your breathalyzer is less than the 0.15 percent, then you may not need to do nothing else.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – a personal statement

The FAA often also requests that you submit a “personal statement” surrounding the events leading up to the traffic stop and DUI arrest, including comments about your past and current alcohol/drug use. My personal advice is to be honest in the letter. Do not be confrontational, and it is in your best interests to stick to the facts, be truthful and honest, and remorseful if anything.

In all of these circumstances, the FAA medical records office maintains a record of how many DUIs you collect. Two DUI events within a three-year period will result in the requirement for an evaluation by an addiction trained psychologist or psychiatrist. Three DUIs in a lifetime is considered by the FAA to be a possible sign of alcohol dependence and will result in a denial of your medical application. In order to attempt to regain your medical certificate after that event, you will be required to obtain:

  • psychological and psychiatric evaluations by addiction trained specialists who are familiar with FAA policies;
  • a certified true copy of all the driving records in states you hold licenses in; and
  • a typed letter from yourself concerning your alcohol- or drug-use habits.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – where to send information

The Address to Send Notification Letters to:

Federal Aviation Administration
Security and Investigations Division (AMC-700)
P.O. Box 25810
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
or
Fax to: (405) 954-4989

The FAA Form 8500-8 “Application for Airmen Medical” contains an express consent provision which authorizes the National Driver Register (NDR) to release information about your driving record to FAA. Information on the NDR record will contain pointers to states that keep a driving history on you. The FAA will obtain applicable records to determine if you have a reportable alcohol-related MVA.The National Driver’s Registration (NDR) also reveals all alcohol related arrests and convictions to the FAA via authorization from the medical application. You should expect that the FAA will be notified of your arrest within a week.

The consequences vary from being placed on probation to termination or revocation of your Pilot Licenses and DUI punishment in addition. Failing to disclose can exacerbate the problem and cause more serious and more recent disciplinary results to Pilot Licenses and DUI action against driver’s licenses.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – International Travel

International Travel and DUI

A conviction can also cause problems entering certain countries, most notably Canada.  That country, and certain others, often deny access to visitors with DUI convictions. This would be especially difficult for commercial pilots, who are required to travel to many foreign countries as part of their employment.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – we can help

Our office has represented many pilots in the past, and as someone that held an FAA Private Pilots License, I am especially sympathetic and helpful towards those with an Airmen’s Certificate.  Pilot Licenses and DUI take special handling. We can help you and keep you flying.

Contact us now – Let’s Get Started.

Don’t delay contacting us.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your license later. Contact us today.

 

DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

DUI Arrest warrants

DUI arrest warrants in Orange County, like many types of warrants in California, can happen for a variety of reasons.

The most important thing to know is this: Take care of any warrants as soon as possible.  A warrant is a priority situation that you will want to take care of right away. With a warrant, you can be arrested anywhere, and anytime, and the arrest can be justified.  You could technically be arrested at work, at home, or anywhere, as long as there is a warrant.

If you had an Orange County DUI case, but didn’t show up for your court date, or didn’t comply with some part of your sentence or missed a court deadline, you might have a warrant for your arrest, and not even know it.

You can check Orange County DUI arrest warrants at the following website, run by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  It is anonymous, and doesn’t send information to law enforcement:

Orange County Arrest Warrant Search

 

Police are Enforcing DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

Every so often, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force goes into action to clear up all outstanding arrest warrants at once. The local newspaper (the OC Register), had a story on the DUI task force going after Orange County DUI offenders on December, 14, 2015, as a coordinated effort all over the county. As the story stated:

OCSD Deputies attempted service on 36 warrants. Nine offenders were arrested who either failed to show up for a court date or violated terms of their probation in an outstanding DUI case. Another six turned themselves in following the attempted warrant service, after receiving a notice that they were visited by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and that there was a warrant for their arrest.

“The best bet for anyone with a missed DUI court date is go to court on their own now,” says OC Deputy Manuel Cruz. “If you don’t, that warrant isn’t going away. We’re going to come find you and take you to jail.”

Orange County DUI arrest warrants can mean increased punishment for missing the deadline set by the court.  If caught, you can face fines, community service, a work program, or even jail time for failing to appear in court. When family, friends, and co-workers find out, you can face personal embarrassment as they you are led away in handcuffs, as well as missing work while sitting in jail.

Again, when there is any kind of DUI warrant, you can be arrested at any place, at any time.  Even if you are jaywalking and the police pull your record, you can be arrested and held until you see a judge.

Contact us.  Our Orange County DUI defense lawyers can clear up a warrant in 24 hours for you. If you find you have a warrant, or if you have been sent a notice from Orange County Superior Court indicating that you have a warrant for your arrest, let us help fix that for you.  Use the Contact Us form to send us your details and to get started immediately.

 

Police prefer candidates who won’t arrest other officers for DUI in Massachusetts

POLICE PREFER CANDIDATES WHO WON’T ARREST OTHER OFFICERS FOR DUI IN MASSACHUSETTS

A DUI can happen to anyone, even police officers. No one should be above the law. Police prefer candidates who won’t arrest other officers for DUI in Massachusetts, the findings of a commission in a city in Massachusetts revealed. As the Boston Globe Reported, preference in hiring was given to those that pledged if hired not to arrest a fellow officer if they were found to be Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

police department in massachusetts gave higher points to candidates who pledged not to arrest fellow officers for DUI

When candidates said they wouldn’t arrest family or fellow officers, the hiring panel noted the person “knows discretion.” Indeed, the commission said that “Some of the interview panelists actually heaped high praise on those candidates who stated that they would arrest a stranger but not arrest a friend or family member based on the same facts, citing their understanding of ‘discretion.’”

What is troubling here is that the police officers not only selected candidates based on their professed bias but actively sought officers who would ignore crimes.

Mayor Zanni of Methuen Massachusetts, where this took place, said that he believes police should arrest anyone caught drunken driving, regardless of their connections. “Everyone should be treated equally — no question,” Zanni said. He said candidates have challenged the hiring process and the city is still awaiting those rulings.

Police typically pledge to arrest even friends or family if there is enough evidence that a crime has occurred.  Under the current “zero tolerance” climate for DUI cases, police have a duty to arrest for DUI anyone that has probable cause to show that they committed the crime.

Contact us now if you have a DUI.

Don’t delay contacting us if you have been arrested for DUI.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

Orange DUI Checkpoint results in five arrests

Orange DUI Checkpoint results in five arrests

Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that the Orange DUI Checkpoint results in five arrests from their Orange Police Department Orange DUI Checkpoint last weekend.

Of the five, four were related to alcohol, and one was drug related. (It was not mentioned whether this was a Prescription Drug DUI case, or an Illegal Drug DUI case). There were also 14 drivers cited or arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle unlicensed or while a license was suspended/revoked, and 21 other citations issued.

The checkpoint screened 903 vehicles, so this was a 0.0553% arrest rate, which is typical for DUI checkpoints, which are largely inefficent when compared to other means, such as saturation patrols.

As we had announced here, the Orange DUI Checkpoint was set up from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at 300 The City Drive South in Orange, California. If you need the help of the Best DUI Lawyer in Orange County, please call our law firm at (949) 682-5316.

WHY DOES LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE ORANGE COUNTY DUI CHECKPOINTS?

DUI Checkpoints are even admitted by law enforcement to be less effective than other means of removing drunk drivers from the road. But, even though DUI checkpoints don’t work, police state they had a deterrent effect preventing people from driving in the first place.  The truth is that funding in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), MADD, and the Federal Government ensure DUI checkpoints are used first before other measures.

ARE DUI CHECKPOINTS LEGAL?

The US Supreme Court, as well as the law in California, makes DUI checkpoints legal, as long as they follow certain criteria, including:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: There are no hard and fast rules, but the timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint. In other words, put ’em up when the drunks are out.
  • Indicia of official nature of roadblock: This is more babble about bright lights and warning signs. They do mention that the lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicity: Ingersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

Contact us now – Let’s Get Started.

Don’t delay contacting us.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints 04-25-2015

Long Beach Police Department (California)
Long Beach Police Department (California) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that there are two checkpoints scheduled for tomorrow, April 25, 2015.

The first aims to look to increase Santa Ana DUI arrests. The Santa Ana Police Department has scheduled a DUI Checkpoint from 9pm to 3am at Warner Avenue, between Flower St. and Main St..

The Long Beach Police Department also has a DUI checkpoint in Long Beach, which is running in an undisclosed location, likely in Northern Long Beach, from 9pm to 3am also.

At both of When possible, specially-trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving (DUID), which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.

WHAT IS A SATURATION PATROL?

A Saturation Patrol is special enforcement where trained officers, with DUI testing equipment, drive around high potential areas for DUI arrests in Orange County, looking for traffic violations that might indicate someone is drunk driving.

WHY DOES LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE ORANGE COUNTY DUI CHECKPOINTS?

DUI Checkpoints are even admitted by law enforcement to be less effective than other means of removing drunk drivers from the road. But, even though DUI checkpoints don’t work, police state they had a deterrent effect preventing people from driving in the first place.  The truth is that funding in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)MADD, and the Federal Government through NHTSA ensure DUI checkpoints are used first before other measures.

ARE DUI CHECKPOINTS LEGAL?

The US Supreme Court, as well as the law in California, including the Ingersoll v. Rand decision, makes DUI checkpoints legal, as long as they follow certain criteria, including:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: The timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint.
  • Indications that the checkpoint is official: It should be clear to drivers, for notice purposes, that this is a law enforcement stop, and not just construction or something sinister. Lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicityIngersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

Those are the Orange County DUI Checkpoints 04-25-2015 scheduled for this weekend.  Be careful out there.  Please contact our Orange County DUI Defense Attorneys if you have a question or need our help.

CONTACT US

Contact our firm if you have any questions about Orange County DUI Checkpoints.

Don’t delay contacting us if you were arrested for a DUI.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.