Topic Author
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Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Wed Aug 29, 2001 6:06 am

If U r convicted of drunk driving, as a misdemeanor, will U not be able to become a pilot either on a private or professional level. If the answer is still yes does it any way hurt Ur chances? I t was mistake on my part & bad one.
Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Wed Aug 29, 2001 7:04 am

You ask about how millions of judges will interprete different laws in 180+ countries. I can speak for my country.

I know of one person who had his private pilot's license withdrawn along with his driver's license for drunk driving. He thought that it was unfair and asked his aeroclub for assistance, which he didn't get.

Personally I agree with my country. People, who are unable to obey to simples rules such as park their car after dulling their brain with chemicals, shall not fly, navigate ships, have pets, raise children or other such intellectually demanding things. They shall be treated exacly as what they are: Sick people. Until their illness has been cured.

Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Wed Aug 29, 2001 9:54 am

Aww hell Preben...a couple of Shiners sure made a tough semester a little easier.

There's no specific question on the 8710 form (FAA) about a DUI conviction, but I would say its a safe bet they do some checking as a part of the application process.

You should refer to the FARs §61.15 "Offenses involving alcohol and drugs" (it seems to take a while to load)

You probably won't receive any red flags from the FAA for a private license. However, I'd say it'll be a long time before an airline hires a person who's been convicted for DUI no matter how he/she has changed. I'm sure you can imagine what the press or a plaintiff's lawyer would do with the fact that the airline knowingly hired a pilot who'd been caught driving drunk and put him in charge of an airplane that crashed.
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:56 pm

If you hold a FAA medical when you get the DUI, you have to report it per FAR's. This is recorded and if you get a second DUI within three years, chances are you'll lose your medical until you complete alcohol treatment. If you didn't hold a medical when you got the DUI, you don't have to report it as per the FAR's.

There is a box on the FAA medical form that asks about DUI's and any alcohol treatment or schooling....I forget the exact wording and whether or not it ties into the DUI reporting FAR. I also don't remember the FAR number that deals with DUI reporting...but you should be able to find it.

So.....if you fly privately and get one DUI, it won't effect your status at all. If you are after a job as a pilot, I wouldn't say it's a career killer but you sure aren't helping yourself. The more time between the offense and the interview, the better. Every application you fill out will probably ask if you got a DUI and you'll have to say yes. Don't lie, or you can be fired years down the road if they find out...and it's not hard to find out. Supposedly, FAA medical info is confidential (ha ha) but what about the police report and court records.....

Come up with a good interview story about how you were young and stupid and learned your lesson and it will never happen again. You could volunteer to speak to kids about the dangers of drinking....I'm not kidding. Show that you accepted responsibility for your mistake and learned from it. A DUI could easily cost you a job or two but I wouldn't quit trying because of one.....
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Wed Aug 29, 2001 10:55 pm

I know in australia, a drunk driving conviction used to result in loss of licence, however, I beleive that has changed.

But If you have been convicted of drunk driving, even if you still have you license, dont expect your prostpective employers to do you any favours when applying for a job.

Topic Author
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Fri Aug 31, 2001 4:25 am

PrebenNorholm. I made a mistake, and that should in no way revoke my right to do things like raise children, pets, or fly an airplane. bad judgements happen especially when U r young as I am. i have no excuse for what i did except that i was stupid, and it will not happen again. U cannot call me sick for such and i hate to think that i may have ruined a dream in flash of bad judegement
Just like the shirt says, Boeing Builds It Better!
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RE: Drunk Driving & Pilots Lisence

Fri Aug 31, 2001 10:42 pm


I copied a little Q&A off Cheryl Cage's website. I thought this would give you more perspective on the situation.

BTW, don't let Preben get under your skin. He's speaking from a Danish perspective...European laws are much more stringent than the USA when it comes to DUIs. When you consider that some countries have a death penalty for DUI, the USA is quite lenient.

At any rate:

I have a DUI in my background. Are my chances of working for a major airline ruined?

We would need a lot more information about your personal background in order to answer that question. Obviously, this is a serious situation and one that a pilot interviewer would review in-depth.

Although age should never be used as an excuse, interviewers are aware that very young people sometimes have lapses of judgment.

Let’s say you received the DUI when you were 19, and you are now 26. This gives the interviewer seven years of behavior to review. In reviewing these seven years the interviewer discovers your driving record has been clean since the DUI, you have been consistently employed within aviation and have made good career progression, and you have excellent recommendations from your past employers. In addition, during your interview you were straightforward, took responsibility, and was willing to discuss the situation in depth. With this type of approach and concrete information the chances of overcoming this black mark on your record are greatly increased. This is because you have proven that the DUI was not a normal pattern of behavior.

However, what if your record shows more traffic violations since the DUI, or a poor recommendation from a past employer, or perhaps several problems with your training? The DUI will then be much more difficult to overcome simply because it is now compounded by other problem areas.

Someone who is commits a DUI when they are an adult is going to have a lot more difficulty overcoming this situation. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, however it is much more difficult because the only thing that can help to overcome this problem is time. As previously stated an interviewer will need several years between the DUI conviction and the interview to become comfortable with the applicant’s true pattern of behavior. And, quite frankly, as an adult you should know better.

So, to answer your question: Are my chances of working for a major airline ruined? The answer: It depends. It depends on your personal and professional behavior since the DUI, your career progression, and your presentation in the interview.

Obviously, the best case scenario is to never put yourself into this type of situation. Remember, every decision you make and the consequences that come from your decisions will follow you throughout your career.

Hope that helps!

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