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Pilots and DUI in NY

Pilots charged with a DUI in New York face the risk of losing their pilot’s license. Anyone with a DUI conviction may have difficulty obtaining a professional piloting license in the future. A misdemeanor DUI in NY is considered an instance of professional misconduct, automatically requiring a hearing over retaining the license and the ability to practice. A felony DUI conviction in NY may result in the total loss of a pilot license.

The aftermath of a DUI

Pilots are required to report any DUI to the Federal Aviation Administration, including the penalties imposed. Any pilot who refuses a test for drug or alcohol test from law enforcement may have their license suspended and flying privileges revoked for over a year. Pilots who fail to report previous convictions face up to five years in jail, $250,000 in fines, or both.

More on DUI laws and pilots

Pilots reporting a previous DUI conviction may be required to undergo psychiatric or substance evaluations. After the evaluation, the FAA may require pilots to participate in random alcohol or drug testing and attend treatment programs for substance abuse. Pilots are required to notify the FAA within the 60 days of the DUI conviction. Convictions are reported to the FAA through the first-class medical application and with the Civil Action Security Division. The FAA also requires pilots to report any adverse action taken by the state.

Even a DUI while driving a vehicle on the road can negatively impact a pilot’s career. Pilots are required to report to the FAA within 60 days of a driver’s license suspension. If there are two driver’s license suspensions occurring within three years, this can result in the revocation of a pilot license. Pilots may be barred from flying temporarily until the DUI case is prosecuted in court. FAA regulations prohibit alcohol consumption within 8 to 12 hours of takeoff. Pilots and crew are required to have a BAC level below .04% while on duty.