DUI for Pilots in Georgia
One of the most confusing part about knowing what a pilot is supposed to do after getting a DUI is that it depends on both FAA regulations and Georgia state law. Each state treats DUI charges slightly differently, which may affect the reporting requirements to the FAA.
Under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must send a Notification Letter to the FAA's Security and Investigations Division. This must be done within sixty (60) calendar days from the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction, or administrative action. Because Georgia DUIs include administrative action in addition to the criminal charges, this may mean having to report twice to the FAA.
Administrative Action and Conviction
In Georgia, the administrative action against a DUI is taken by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The Department will suspend a driver's license if they refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI. This does not mean refusal of the field breath test taken on the roadside, but refers to the chemical test which comes after arrest, usually at a police station. If this chemical test (blood, urine or breath) is refused, then a driver's license is automatically suspended for one year.
Administrative suspension may also take place thirty (30) days after a DUI arrest if the driver or their lawyer did not request an ALS hearing within 30 days after arrest. Either of these administrative actions trigger the reporting requirement to the FAA, and must be reported not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action.
If a driver is ultimately convicted of a DUI or alcohol related driving offense, this would also require reporting once again to the FAA.
The FAA requires that a Notification Letter must be sent to the FAA. Each event, conviction, administrative action requires a separate notification letter. The FAA will consider the multiple notification letters referring to the same event as a single alcohol-related incident. Letters are to include the pilots:
- Name, Address, Date of Birth, Certificate Number, Phone Number;
- Type of Violation (conviction or administrative action);
- State of Violation/Record;
- Driver's License Number; and
- Statement whether this relates to a previously reported motor vehicle action.
A DUI must also be reported as part of the medical evaluation.
Failure to Report
A pilot may not want to report the incident to the FAA for fear of what it may mean for their pilot's license; however, not reporting the incident will surely lead to more severe consequences. The FAA will discover any DUI charges because Georgia will report them to the National Driver's Registry. When it comes time to apply for the pilot's medical certificate, the FAA will find the DUI, and if was not timely reported within 60 days, the FAA will suspend or revoke the pilot's certificate.
DUI Defense for Georgia Pilots
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Atlanta, you need to understand what it can mean to your future flying career. In many cases, a first-time DUI, that is timely reported, may require an alcohol or substance abuse evaluation and treatment, but may not result in any permanent revocation. Just because you were arrested for a DUI does not mean you will be convicted. I understand what is at risk, and will use my DUI training, legal knowledge and courtroom experience to keep your driving record clean and pilot's certification intact. Call me today anytime so we can defend your rights.