If an airman applies for an FAA Medical Certificate and checks “yes” to question 18v (have you ever had an arrest, any conviction involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug etc.), he or she can expect to be asked for certain information and documents by the aviation medical examiner (“AME”). The first question will be “what was the airman’s blood alcohol level?” In order to confirm what the airman tells the AME, he or she will then ask to see a copy of the police report of the arrest. Be aware that this is in addition to any documents the airman receives when he or she shows up at court and the airman will likely have to specifically request a copy from the prosecuting attorney.
Why is the police report necessary? The FAA wants the report of the arresting officer to review how the airman was detained, his or her reaction to the stop, and whether the airman refused to submit to blood alcohol testing (or the blood alcohol level (“BAC”) when he or she did submit). This information is used by the AME to determine whether the airman has a substance abuse/dependence condition that would disqualify the airman from being issued a medical certificate.
If the airman’s BAC was 0.15 or greater, or the airman refused to be tested, or this wasn’t the airman’s first DWI/DUI, the AME will have to defer the airman’s application to FAA Aeromedical in Oklahoma City. The airman can then expect to receive a letter requiring him or her to obtain a current substance abuse evaluation. If the BAC was less than 0.15, the AME may issue a medical certificate to the airman.
So, if you are arrested for DWI/DUI, make sure you obtain copies of the court documents AND the police report. Also, don’t forget that you have to separately report the accompanying driver’s license suspension/revocation and any resulting conviction for DWI/DUI to the FAA within 60 days under FAR 61.15(e).