What we see often is a pilot will come to us who has relied on his DUI attorney to give him advice as to what should be reported to the FAA. While that advice may be accurate for a non-pilot, the FAA has different reporting requirements for professional pilots. It’s not widely known by DUI attorneys that a pilot has to report an arrest even when they’re not convicted.
There are many talented DUI attorneys who can get their pilot clients out of a DUI and reduce the violation to, say, reckless driving, which would not require a reporting requirement of any sort because reckless driving is a traffic-related conviction. You don’t have to report the arrest then you’re not convicted of an alcohol-related event.
I strongly encourage pilots to have an aviation attorney consult with their DUI attorney because this is a very narrow niche in the law. It’s easy to get incorrect information from an attorney who is not specifically aware of the FAA requirements for its pilots which would have avoidable long-term negative consequences for the pilot.
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