Written by attorney Linda Medeiros Callahan

DUIs, Pilots and Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR)

Punishment imposed upon conviction for DUI or Physical Control in Washington includes, among other things, a driver’s license suspension or revocation, and Alcohol Drug Information School, at a minimum, or, for persons requiring more than education, alcohol or drug treatment. Pilots licensed by the FAA have very strict reporting requirements concerning such convictions, driver’s licensing actions, and administratively required alcohol or drug education or treatment. The following provides basic information about these reporting requirements.

FAR 61.15 reporting requirements.

Under the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 61.15, a pilot holding a certificate issued under FAR Part 61 must notify the FAA no later than 60 days after a “motor vehicle action." Each motor vehicle action must be reported in writing, and the notice must include:

· The person's name, address, date of birth, and airman certificate number

· The type of violation that resulted in the conviction or the administrative action

· The date of the conviction or administrative action

· The State that holds the record of conviction or administrative action; and

· 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

What constitutes a “motor vehicle action"?

A motor vehicle action includes a conviction for violation of any federal or state statute relating to the operation of a motor vehicle while:

· intoxicated by alcohol or drug, or

· impaired by alcohol or a drug, or

· under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

In addition, a “motor vehicle action" includes:

· cancellation, suspension, revocation, or denial of a driver’s license or privilege, related to operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drug, impaired by alcohol or a drug, or under the influence of alcohol or a drug

· an administrative action requiring that the person complete an alcohol education or rehabilitation class.

Does a DUI or Physical Control arrest also have to be reported?

Yes and no. An “arrest" need not be reported unless it results in a “motor vehicle action" as defined in FAR 61.15. However, since 2008, the Application for Airmen Medical Certificate and Student Pilot License Form FAA 8500-8, Block 18v, requires disclosure of:

History of (1) any arrest(s) and/or any conviction(s) involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or (2) history of any arrest(s), and/or conviction(s) and/or administrative action(s) involving an offense(s) which resulted in the denial, conviction(s) suspension, cancellation, or revocation of driving privileges or which resulted in attendance at an educational or a rehabilitation program.

Military pilots.

Unless also licensed by the FAA, or if seeking an FAA license, military pilots are not subject to FAA reporting requirements.

This legal guide is not intended to teach anyone the law, nor is it a substitute for the advice of a lawyer in possession of all of the facts relevant to an individual’s particular situation. This legal guide does not create an attorney-client relationship between the writer and any reader.

Additional resources provided by the author

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Avvo DUI email series

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer