Real Answers from Real Pilots

Arrest record

I know there has been several other questions like mine but I feel like I have a very particular situation. I was 18 (20 now) and made the stupid decision to smoke marijuana and attempt to drive home after a shift at work. Not really knowing how it would affect my body I decided it was best to pull over and sleep in my car instead of endangering my life and someone else’s. Next thing I know an officer is tapping on my window and, you guessed it, put me in jail for the night for a DUI. I got a lawyer and was ready to take the punishment I deserved, however on my court date I hadn’t been charged with anything. A year went by and still nothing. My lawyer informed me that the statute of limitations on DUI’s is one year and that I would not be charged with anything. Even though I somewhat got lucky it’s still the dumbest thing I have ever done. Today I went to a AME to get my 1st class certificate and told him on my application of my arrest. Right now I am jumping through the hoops to get my 1st class. My question basically is how hard will it be for me to get a decent job as a pilot. I’m only at 38 hours right now but I know this is what I’m supposed to do with my life. Sorry for the long post but this whole situation can be very disheartening and I wanted to get as much info to you guys as I could. Replies would be appreciated, thanks.

Jordan

Jordan,

Not sure why you think your situation is more unique or “particular” than anyone else’s? You were arrested and now have a very big strike on your record. The rest is up to you. There are no guarantees but generally if you behave yourself and have no other issues or strikes you should be ok. As I’ve told others there are hundreds of applicants who don’t have any arrests so why should I overlook yours? The answer is by doing well, getting a degree, passing your checkrides and above all making sure your record remains clean. There is no 3 strike rule in aviation. In most cases you get 1 and then you’re under the microscope. Well you’ve already gotten your one and hopefully it’s out of your system. If not you’re done.

Adam

Jordan,

Adam’s points are right on. You really need to strive to keep an incredibly clean record moving forward. I think that you will be able to overcome this, but it will always be something that you have to explain.

Chris

May I ask, what “hoops” are they having you jump through? Do not give up hope.