AOPA will be closing at 2:30 p.m. EDT, August 29th, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. We will reopen on 8:30 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, September 2nd.
May 30, 2012
By Warren Silberman
I’ve heard rumors in the pilot community that airmen shouldn’t consent to a breathalyzer test if they are suspected of an alcohol- or drug-related offense while operating a motor vehicle.
Don’t believe those rumors. If this happens to you, allow the officer to perform the test. Otherwise, this is called a “refusal” to test, which the FAA considers equivalent to a significant positive alcohol test result. The FAA will require you to be evaluated by a substance abuse specialist.
There are two important requirements if you’re suspected of this type of offense:
If you don’t report the offense as required by Part 61.15 (e), when the FAA finds out it will do an emergency revocation of ALL your certificates and ratings. All you’ll have left is your flight hours, requiring you to take all of the tests again. Generally, you’ll lose your certificates for one year unless legal representatives can bargain this down to something less.
I also advise all airmen to tell the truth on their FAA flight examination. The FAA has zero tolerance for airmen who falsify their response to this question. The end result will be the same as I mentioned above.
If you obtain the police report prior to seeing your aviation medical examiner and the breathalyzer result is less than 0.15 percent, he/she may issue you your medical certificate if you are otherwise healthy.
If you can’t obtain the police report within the time mandated for the AME to submit your examination into the FAA, the AME will have to defer the decision to grant you medical certification until you do. If your breathalyzer was 0.15 or above, or you had a refusal, you’ll be required to provide an evaluation by a recognized substance abuse specialist. This evaluation will then be submitted to the FAA aeromedical staff for review.
The AME can’t issue your medical certificate in the interim, but don’t avoid telling the truth simply because you want to walk out with your medical certificate. The consequences will be much more aggravating and costly when the FAA eventually learns that you falsified your FAA flight examination report, even if you plead ignorance of the rules and procedures.
For more expert advice and professional assistance with protecting your pilot and medical certificates all year round, visit AOPA Pilot Protection Services AOPA Pilot Protection Services.
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Pilot Protection Services,
AOPA Products and Services,
Aviation Medical Examiner,
Members of the House General Aviation Caucus are asking the Department of Transportation to expedite rulemaking for third-class medical reform.
Nevada’s governor is being asked to add funding to the budget for the state aviation trust fund.
California administrative law officials have scuttled proposed regulations that would have established state-imposed minimum altitudes for wilderness overflight.
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