Real Answers from Real Pilots

Old DUI

Good Afternoon Mentors. I have a question. I’m very close to pulling the trigger on ATP - hopefully at the LZU location - but one thing is holding me back. Its humiliating to have to admit this publicly but almost 20 years ago to the day I got a DUI. I’m 38. I have PPL and disclosed this on my medical forms. It was no problem there, but I’m really concerned this will derail any chance to be hired at a regional airline. Of course, it would be catastrophic to spend so much money and be unemployable. Anyway, I’ve decided to go public in hopes that some of you might know if a 20 year old DUI is a show stopper. I’ve had a clean record since then and no other traffic infractions.

Sam,

I am usually the bad cop on this that says that it will be an issue for you. But, if you only had one, it was 20 years ago and you have had a clean driving and criminal record since then I don’t think that you have anything to worry about. I would of course be prepared to explain how it was a horrible mistake and how you really learned from it, hence your spotless record since.

We are all humans, we all make mistakes and the airlines know this. It is what we do after the mistakes that matter and it sounds like you learned from your mistake. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Chris

I really appreciate your reply Chris. One quick follow up. Do you know if this will drop my resume to the bottom of the pile, especially given that I’m probably a little older than most applicants? Do you think I will have a chance to actually get in front of a recruiter/interviewer?

Timothy,

Fortunately right now the Regionals are so short on pilots that (and I mean no disrespect) issues or people that were looked poorly upon in the past are having no issues. Not to negate the DUI, as it is a serious digression BUT as Chris said, if it was long ago AND you’ve maintained a clean record since you should be fine.

Also, you’re really not that old so don’t even give that a thought.

Adam

Airlines want to hire good people, and recruiters know that humans make
mistakes. What happened happened. Have you thought about calling some
airlines directly?

I haven’t Tory. I didn’t even think about that. Are the HR departments at the regionals actually willing to field those kinds of questions?

Thanks for your reply Adam.

Timothy,

I don’t know how this will affect your application. It obviously isn’t going to help it, but I don’t think it is going to particularly hurt it either.

Chris

Only one way to find out. I mean, do you really want to wait to ask after
you’ve spent $75k on flight training?