Item 18v - DUI

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
This is one of a series of posts about medical issues potentially affecting a pilot’s ability to obtain a medical certificate. In this series, we will look at common problems seen by the AME, review the requirements the FAA has to consider allowing one to fly and discuss what you need to do to expedite consideration by the FAA to allow you to fly. We plan to go through all of the medical history items in Section 18 on the front of Form 8500-8 over the next several months.

I would suggest that if you are unsure of how to answer these questions in Item 18, you discuss them with your AME before you complete the form. Some things may not be significant while others will require explanation.

Item 18.v. Conviction and/or Administrative Action History
The events to be reported are specifically identified in Item 18.v. of FAA Form 8500-8. If yes is checked, the applicant must describe the conviction(s) and/or administrative action(s) in the EXPLANATIONS box. The description must include:
The alcohol or drug offense for which the applicant was convicted or the type of administrative action involved (e.g., attendance at an educational or rehabilitation program in lieu of conviction; license denial, suspension, cancellation, or revocation for refusal to be tested; educational safe driving program for multiple speeding convictions; etc.);

The name of the state or other jurisdiction involved; and

The date of the conviction and/or administrative action

If there have been no new convictions or administrative actions since the last application, the applicant may enter PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, NO CHANGE. Convictions and/or administrative actions affecting driving privileges may raise questions about the applicant's fitness for certification and may be cause for disqualification.

A single driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction or administrative action usually is not cause for denial if there are no other instances or indications of substance dependence or abuse.

Be aware that the FAA now requires that if the airman reports a new DUI within the past 5 years, they also provide 1) a copy of police arrest record to include the typed narrative if available, 2) any and all court records related to the offense, 3) a detailed personal statement about alcohol use to include frequency, amount, and any consequences due to alcohol consumption to the AME for review. The AME may issue a medical certificate if the BAC was <0.15. All cases with a BAC 0.15 or greated must be deferred to the FAA.

* Italicized text is from FAA documents