DWIs and Pilots – What You Need to Know
Every day, thousands of people get on airplanes with the assumption that their pilot is sober. Fortunately, this is true the majority of the time. Pilots, however, are not perfect and some do have drinking problems. Because they are entrusted with the lives of others so frequently, there are strict regulations regarding pilots and DWIs.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the organization in charge of governing not just the inspection of airplanes but also the punishment and licensing of pilots. To govern pilots, they have the Federal Aviation Regulations. These are a set of rules that are frequently referred to as the FARS.
As a basic, there are three types of medical certificates. A pilot must have a valid, current medical certificate in order to fly. The certificates are arranged by class, First, Second, and Third. First Class certificates are good for six months and then the pilot needs to receive a new one. Second Class certificates are good for twelve months before they need to be replaced. Third Class certificates are good for twenty four months before they need to be renewed.
Whenever a pilot goes to renew his or her medical certificate, there is a blank on the application form for the pilot to mention or report any DWI convictions. DWI charges are not required to be reported on the medical certificate forms, just convictions.
However, the FAA still has to be notified of the arrest and any DWI charges. This must be done through a report that must include a variety of things. These things include:
· The pilot’s name, address, date of birth, airman certificate number
· The type of violation that resulted in the conviction or any administrative action
· The date of the conviction or administrative action
· The State which holds the record of the conviction or administrative action
· A statement as to whether the motor vehicle action resulted from the same incident or arose out of the same factual circumstances related to a previously reported motor vehicle action
If this report is not filed with the FAA, the FAA can suspend or revoke any certificate, rating, or authorization issued by the organization. The pilot has 60 days from after a driver’s license is suspended to notify the FAA.
While these rules hold true for the FAA, the pilot’s employer may have different rules concerning DWIs. It is important to be aware of those rules as well. louisiana criminal lawyer