Aviation attorney, Charles Barnett has secured a victory for one of their general aviation pilot clients accused of alcohol dependence by the FAA. The case involved a 30 year old pilot who had a DUI for driving his car with a BAC above .14999.
The pilot subsequently received an Emergency Order of Revocation from the FAA stating that the FAA’s Chief Psychiatrist had determined that he met the criteria for alcohol dependence evidenced by tolerance and impaired control of use. The FAA Administrator presented the testimony of the FAA’s Chief Psychiatrist and the former Deputy Regional Flight Surgeon and argued that the fact that the pilot had a high BAC equated to a diagnosis of alcohol dependence due to increased tolerance that justified revocation of the pilot’s medical certificate.
Attorney Barnett presented evidence and testimony from experts, HIMS physicians and certified counselors who determined that the pilot’s alcohol abuse was an isolated situation, that he was not alcohol dependent and that he did not present a safety of flight risk. After hearing the evidence and arguments presented by Borth and Barnett the court held that the FAA Administrator failed to establish that the pilot met the standards for alcohol dependence under the Federal Aviation Regulations by preponderance of reliable and probative evidence and ruled in favor of the pilot.
If you’re a pilot with a licensing concern or issue, please contact our aviation lawyers to see what we can do for you.