Articles Posted in Pilot License Issues

September 17, 2018

How a Pennsylvania DUI Can Affect Your Pilot’s License

By Brian Manchester

 A DUI Can End a Pilot’s Career if not Handled Properly

A DUI conviction can be detrimental to a pilot’s career if not handled properly. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) takes DUI offenses very seriously, and pilots are required to notify the FAA within sixty (60) days of each DUI related event. Specifically, under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must notify the Security and Investigative Division of the FAA by way of notification letter when the pilot has their driver’s license suspended, and a separate letter must be sent if the pilot is convicted of the DUI.

Because alcohol related convictions will appear on your driving record, which you must release to the FAA for a pilot’s license or renewal of medical aviation certification, it is important resist the urge to try and hide the DUI from the FAA. The FAA can and will quickly review your driving record, especially if there is any suspicion that you were convicted of a DUI. However, please note under 14 CFR 61.15(c)(1), you are not required to report the violation to the FAA if the DUI charge took place prior to November 29, 1990.

Requirements for the Notification Letter

The specific requirements for the notification letter are listed in 14 CFR 61.15(e), which are:

“Each person holding a certificate issued under this part shall provide a written report of each motor vehicle action to the FAA, Civil Aviation Security Division (AAC-700), P.O. Box 25810, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action. The report must include –

(1) The person’s name, address, date of birth, and airman 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 the 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.”

A DUI does NOT mean an End to your Piloting Career

Getting a DUI will not automatically mean that your career as a pilot is over. However, if you are convicted, you can expect that the FAA will conduct an alcoholism inquiry in order to determine if you are fit to keep your pilot’s license. For someone that receives a DUI while in the process of becoming a pilot, it can affect your chances of obtaining the pilot’s license if you do not handle the process responsibly and properly. Thus, if you report the DUI, and conduct yourself in a manner that indicates you do not suffer from alcohol dependency, you have a good chance of keeping your pilots license.

It is important to know that you are still capable of successfully passing your aviation medical exam even with a DUI on your record, but not without being examined by the FAA. The one exception to the requirement of being examined by the FAA is if: your BAC was under 0.15, you never refused to submit to a BAC test, you properly reported the DUI to the FAA, and you have never had any prior arrests or convictions. If you have multiple DUIs, you may experience difficulty applying for an aviation medical certificate, as the FAA usually deems this an indication of a habitual alcohol or addition problem.

Do NOT Assume You’ll Lose Your License

It is important to know your options if you are a pilot charged with DUI, and you should not assume that you will lose your pilot’s license. Brian Manchester has extensive training in DUI defense and is even a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Brian Manchester also regularly attends seminars that specifically focus on DUI defenses, and he was also the Educational Chairman for the Pennsylvania Association of Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.


Posted in: DUI Blog , Pilot License Issues ,

September 12, 2018

DUI & Professional Licenses

By Brian Manchester

Many people make the mistake of assuming a DUI is irrelevant to their professional licences. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth!

The reality is a DUI conviction can cause long-term, unexpected problems with your career and reputation. Some licenses may be revoked or suspended as a result of your DUI conviction. In some professions, future license applicants may be rendered ineligible due to a DUI. In many cases, the professional license holder is required to report the conviction to their respect board or employer right away. As such, it is essential to seek legal counsel immediately after the arrest.

Here are just small samplings of the licensed professionals affected by a Pennsylvania DUI:


A DUI conviction must be reported to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of PA, which governs lawyer licensing. If you fail to disclose your conviction, you may face discliplinary action, which can vary greatly, depending on your record. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you may face higher insurance rates as a result of your convinction.

Teachers, Schools, Administrators, Paraprofessionals and Other School Employees

Pennsylvania State Law requires teachers to complete a standardized form indicating whether the school employee has been convicted of a crimain offense or not. DUI is one of the offenses they are required to report. If the DUI involved drugs, a high BAC, or more than one DUI offense, you may lose your teaching or administrative license.

Many schools also require the disclosure of convictions on new employee applications, making it difficult to compete for a job in Pennsylvania’s highly competitive system.

There are many political aspects that can affect your standing as a teacher as well. Parent and political groups, such as MADD, will start letter-writing campaigns to the school board, which may force them to take harsh action against an employee charged with, or convicted of, a DUI in Pennsylvania.


A DUI conviction is handled internally within a police officer’s municipality. The degree of penalties and consequences resulting from a DUI conviction may depend on the type of DUI and the number of previous convictions. Like school employees, police officers are subject to politics in their field, which could lead to an officer’s suspension or termination.


A pilot is required to report a DUI conviction and any resulting driver’s license suspension to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Civil Action Security Division without 60 days. Otherwise, your pilot’s license is in jeopardy. Because of liability issues, some commercial airlines have been known to fire pilots charged with a DUI, even if it is a first-time offense.

Stock Brockers

A stockbroker is required to report any conviction to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Failure to disclose the DUI immediately could lead to your disqualification. Large brokerage firms typically require their stockbrokers to report DUI convictions. Your ability to obtain professional insurance can be comprimised or you could face higher insurance rates.

Posted in: DUI Blog , Pilot License Issues ,

September 7, 2017

Can I Lose My Pilot’s License If I Am Charged With DUI In Pennsylvania?

By Brian Manchester

The short answer YES.

If you are pulled over for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, you must report that to the FAA even if you are late found to be innocent. Being stopped and asked for a breath or blood sample is enough to make you report the incident. There are two separate forms that will have to be completed in which you must inform the FAA of the incident. Typically the first form is under regulation 61.15 which states that any conviction of an alcohol or drug related offense must be reported within 60 days after the motor vehicle action. The other typically later form to report this on is the FAA medical application.

Once it is reported that FAA will request documents about the situation, including but not limited to the police report, a personal statement about the incident from yourself, and court records about the case. You will be required to have a drug and alcohol evaluation and complete any recommended treatment. You will also be required to provide your driving records to be evaluated.

The FAA will keep track of how many offenses you accumulate throughout your lifetime. If you receive your second offense more evaluations could be required. If you receive a third offense in your life time your medical license will not be granted until a comprehensive medical evaluation is completed to deal with your possible addiction issues, by psychological and psychiatric trained specialist.

Obviously, the best way to avoid all of this is not to drink and drive. However, if you are charged with a DUI it is imperative to put up the best defense possible as it could cost you your piolets license in addition to the driving license.

It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation. Here at Manchester and Associates, we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.

Posted in: DUI Blog , Pilot License Issues ,