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Old 10-16-2017, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default DUI Dismissed: After 3yrs FAA investigates

Three years ago I was pulled over for supposed loud music violation. I submitted to a field sobriety test, which I thought I passed but the officers, eight in total still wanted a breathalyzer test. They pulled out one, then another officer said they should use the one in his trunk. I was fully cooperating but these officers were just looking for a reason too haul me in. I politely asked to do a blood draw, while not refusing anything. They were not happy about this. Fast forward a few months, I'm not a lawyer so I hired one. The lawyer was able to get all the charges dropped because the stop was unconstitutional.

In the preceding three years, I have reported the incident as required by the FAA on each medical application. Yeah, I was arrested but was not convicted of anything and I don't have a DUI on my record. But that doesn't seem to matter to the FAA. A couple months ago they revisited the issue and asked for all the information pertaining to the case. I submitted that info, and a couple months later they asked why there was not a BAC test report. Well that information was never submitted to the court and my lawyer never received it either, because the case was dismissed before it was ever submitted. I called the FAA and told them the situation and asked if a written letter from my lawyer pertaining to the situation would be sufficient. The answer was yes and I did so. Last week I received another letter from the FAA saying that the letter was appreciated but insufficient and now they want my to do a HIMS evaluation. It seems as if they have gone to the full investigation mode on a charge that was fully dropped three years ago and in which I learned a valuable lesson.

I have contacted Dr. Chien who is FAA HIMS familiar and he is looking into the situation, but my question is: Have any of you other aviators had to deal with the FAA after a charge has been dismissed. I'm wondering if the FAA has the legal power to pursue an investigation for a charge that doesn't legally exist anymore. Anyone that has an insight into this situation and could provide some advice, would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:57 PM   #2
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Well first rule is don't talk to cops, they aren't your friends.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NeverSayNever View Post
"Three years ago I was pulled over for supposed loud music violation....The lawyer was able to get all the charges dropped because the stop was unconstitutional.
This part is interesting. The lawyer is actually saying that a 'loud music' ordinance is unconstitutional?

If so....keep that guy on retainer because he is better than 'Better Call Saul'!
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:31 PM   #4
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Well first rule is don't talk to cops, they aren't your friends.
The second rule of fight club is dont talk to the FAA without your qualified attorney in the loop. Anything you say is gathered for one reason only, and it's not to use on your behalf.
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:32 PM   #5
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Criminal (or most civil) law protections are not relevant to FAA aeromedical, they are not conducting an "investigation". They are ADMINISTRATIVELY evaluating your ability to safely exercise the PRIVILEGE afforded by your ATP. Very few "rights" involved in that.

So there is utterly no proceedings or process which will "undo" their intent to evaluate your addiction/abuse status. You cannot get off on a technicality with aeromedical. With PBR you might possibly be able to do that on the enforcement side, but not medical.

One trigger for substance concerns with the FAA is an arrest and/or charges, no conviction required (they know that convictions are commonly dodged with legal technicalities or plea deals, which of course does nothing about any underlying addiction issues).

You need to understand that so you know where you stand.

That said, the real problem here is probably lack of BAC info (they don't have visibility on investigation details since there was no trial). If it was a 0.03 they would would probably just close the case. But they may suspect the actual number was much higher, and that you're withholding the info from them. In which case they'll assume the worst (ie severely impaired but not prosecuted for technical reasons), and throw the medical book at you. If you can get access to a BAC showing you well under DUI limits, that would likely make this go away.

The good news... if you can pass the HIMS stuff, they probably won't have grounds to deny a medical, without actual evidence of impairment.

Again, they are not interfering with your (non-existent) "right" to fly, they are evaluating your ability to safely exercise the privileges of your certificate.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
This part is interesting. The lawyer is actually saying that a 'loud music' ordinance is unconstitutional?

If so....keep that guy on retainer because he is better than 'Better Call Saul'!
My guess would be that there was a demonstrated pattern of the police using minor traffic infractions as a rouse to check for drunk drivers. It happens all around the country.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:31 PM   #7
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My guess would be that there was a demonstrated pattern of the police using minor traffic infractions as a rouse to check for drunk drivers. It happens all around the country.
Heck they don't need that, they can can just throw up a DUI checkpoint if they want to target DUIs.

LEOs use all sorts of incidents to stop and then snoop a little more for something's by more, especially in certain high probability areas (like anywhere along I-95 - America's drug high way)

In any case, if there is a 'Loud Noise' ordinance, the stop is unconstitutional.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
Heck they don't need that, they can can just throw up a DUI checkpoint if they want to target DUIs.
In several states DUI checkpoints are illegal.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:15 PM   #9
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Whether the checkpoint was illegal is really irrelevant at this point.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Criminal (or most civil) law protections are not relevant to FAA aeromedical, they are not conducting an "investigation". They are ADMINISTRATIVELY evaluating your ability to safely exercise the PRIVILEGE afforded by your ATP. Very few "rights" involved in that.

So there is utterly no proceedings or process which will "undo" their intent to evaluate your addiction/abuse status. You cannot get off on a technicality with aeromedical. With PBR you might possibly be able to do that on the enforcement side, but not medical.

One trigger for substance concerns with the FAA is an arrest and/or charges, no conviction required (they know that convictions are commonly dodged with legal technicalities or plea deals, which of course does nothing about any underlying addiction issues).

You need to understand that so you know where you stand.

That said, the real problem here is probably lack of BAC info (they don't have visibility on investigation details since there was no trial). If it was a 0.03 they would would probably just close the case. But they may suspect the actual number was much higher, and that you're withholding the info from them. In which case they'll assume the worst (ie severely impaired but not prosecuted for technical reasons), and throw the medical book at you. If you can get access to a BAC showing you well under DUI limits, that would likely make this go away.

The good news... if you can pass the HIMS stuff, they probably won't have grounds to deny a medical, without actual evidence of impairment.

Again, they are not interfering with your (non-existent) "right" to fly, they are evaluating your ability to safely exercise the privileges of your certificate.
This is possibly the best explanation I have ever seen regarding the FAA Aeromedical Offices authority. Do the HIMS Evaluation.
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