Sunday, January 13, 2013

DUI in the Sky

Just released: The January / February 2013 issue of the FAA Safety Briefing.  It focuses on aerospace medicine.  Articles explain the FAA's responsibilities, cover key issues that affect medical certification for pilots, and discuss the pilot's role in this process.


Highlighted is the danger of alcohol consumption and flying.  Pursuant to Federal Aviation Regulation 91.71, the use of alcohol and drugs by pilots is regulated.  No person may operate or attempt to operate an aircraft (i) within 8 hours of having consumer alcohol; (ii) while under the influence of alcohol; (iii) with a particular blood alcohol content prescribed by law; and (iv) while using any drug that adversely affects safety.

In 2006, the so-called "8 hours from bottle-to-throttle" rule was violated in dramatic fashion when commercial airline pilots racked up more than a hundred dollar bar tab the evening before a trans-continental flight.  See Hughes v. State, 943 So. 2d 176 (2006).  They lost their careers as a result.