When an airman reports an alcohol related traffic offense on the medical application, the FAA requires the AME to defer the issuance of a medical certificate under a number of different circumstances. This deferral triggers a duty on the airman to provide a personal statement about the airman’s alcohol use, driving records, court and arrest records relating to the DUI and a substance abuse evaluation from an addictionologist or addiction psychologist/psychiatrist familiar with aviation standards.
Pilots may receive a letter from the FAA stating “Consideration of your application for airman medical certification and report of medical examination completed on January 1, 2014 discloses that you do not meet the medical standards as prescribed in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 67. Specifically, under paragraph(s) or section(s) 67.107(a)(4), 67.207(a)(4), 67.307(a)(4), of Medical Standards and Certification, due to your history of alcohol dependence.
Therefore, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), your application for issuance of an airman medical certificate is hereby denied.”
Or in cases where the FAA believes the airman has failed to report an alcohol related event correctly on a medical application (FAA Form 8500), the pilot may receive an EMERGENCY ORDER OF REVOCATION. Such an order will typically state “Under 49 U.S.C. Section 46105(c), the Administrator has determined that an emergency exists related to safety in air commerce and that immediate action to revoke your Commercial Pilot Certificate and Second Class Medical Certificate is required.”
The various letters that the FAA sends to Airmen who have alleged alcohol use problems primarily focus on an FAA “diagnosis” of “substance dependence” and/or “substance abuse”.
In the first instance, where a pilot’s medical application is denied, the FAA allows the pilot to file a Petition for Reconsideration with the FAA medical personnel. This petition must be filed within 30 days of the date of the letter and is only effective if the pilot is providing new, previously unconsidered information to the FAA. This process can be very time consuming and result in multiple requests for additional information in some cases.
In the case of an Emergency Order of Revocation, the airman must immediately surrender all medical and airman certificates or face a fine of up to $1,100.00 per day until they are surrendered. If the airman chooses to appeal the order, a notice of appeal must be promptly filed within 10 days of the date on the order. Failing to file the notice of time, even if only 1 day late, can and will result in the appeal being denied.
Once the appeal is denied, the case will be heard by an NTSB administrative law judge no later than 30 days from the date of the notice of appeal.
Aviation attorneys at Barnett Law Offices deliver outstanding legal services, listen to your needs and goals, and keep you informed. If you would like to talk with one of our aviation attorneys, please call us at (800) 578-5512 or write to us using our contact form.
How our aviation lawyers can help.
Barnett Law Offices we understand the importance of all aspects of the additional reporting and evaluation that is necessary when an Airman’s medical application is deferred due to an alcohol related driving offense. We know how to prepare the airman’s document submission and personal statement. We also work with some of the best substance abuse professionals in the country to make sure that all airman evaluations are accurate and reflect the true status and nature of the pilot’s alcohol use.
The trial attorneys of Barnett Law Offices have vast experience in trying cases involving FAA allegations of substance dependence and substance abuse. We take these cases very seriously and engage in painstaking analysis, research and expert evaluation to give our clients the best opportunity for a positive outcome at the hearing of the case and in any subsequent appeals that may be necessary. From our experience in FAA document review and cross examination of the FAA’s experts, FAA investigators, FAA Regional Flight Surgeons and the FAA Chief Psychiatrist our attorneys know and understand how the FAA builds their cases against airmen. We work with only the best experts, physicians and substance abuse counselors to defend these cases and have a positive track record of success. We have experience in handling cases nationwide at all levels from the NTSB trial level through Federal appellate and district courts.