The answer to this question requires a brief discussion laws, rules and regulations. First, 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 61.15(e) requires that everyone holding a pilot’s license report motor vehicle actions (see 61.15(c) for definition but it includes DWI/DWAI conviction and breath test refusal revocation of license) to the FAA within 60 days. The contents of the report are described in 14 CFR 61.15(e) but at a bare minimum must include (1) the person’s name, address, DOB, and airmen certificate number; (2) the type of violation that resulted in the conviction or the administrative action; (3) the date of the conviction or administrative action; (4) the state that holds that record of conviction or administrative action; and (5) a statement of 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. Note that the fifth point specifically references cases where a driver loses his/her license and is convicted of DWI/DWAI stemming from the same arrest. That said, a pilot’s license holder must report each of those motor vehicle actions with reference to the preceding action. Failure to comply with this section will result in denial of an application for a license for up to one year or suspension/revocation. See 14 CFR 61.15(f).
Further instructions for reporting and a guide for doing so can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi
14 CFR 61.15(d) says that, except for a motor vehicle action that results from the same incident, a motor vehicle action occurring within three years of a previous motor vehicle action is grounds for denial of an application for a license for up to one year or suspension/revocation. That may be good news on its face, but a first-offense DWI arrest and/or refusal revocation is not out of the woods.
Pilot’s license holders must re-apply for their medical certificates on a regular basis. How often depends on the pilot’s age and rating. The application for a medical certificate (sample of which can be found here: https://www.gleim.com/public/pdf/ltf/faa_form8500.pdf
Question 18v, of the application, asks for any history of (1) arrests and/or convictions involving DWI/DWAI (have seen a couple versions of the applications online—appears that the older version asked for just convictions while the newer versions may ask for arrests as well); or (2) convictions or administrative action that resulted in a loss of driving privileges. If the answer is yes, that person is expected to provide further explanation that’s defined in the application. The person reviewing the application, called an AME, will review this information consistent with these instructions by the FAA:
In summary, when a pilot gets stopped and arrested for DUI and is issued a notice of suspension of their driving privileges he or she faces the reality that reporting the incident to the FAA will often be required, regardless whether they have been convicted in Court. It is wise to speak to an experienced DUI Lawyer if you have questions about your future. Our Attorneys can answer questions such as ”what are the consequences for a pilot convicted of a drunk driving?” and ”will I lose my pilots license if i get a DUI”.
If you are facing an upcoming Court date for DWI in California call Matt today for a discreet consultation about your case.