Can I get a Helicopter Pilot License with a prior DUI offense?

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I’d like to obtain a helicopter pilot license. Unfortunately, I was recently arrested and charged with DUI (driving under the influence). Will that arrest record destroy my chances of getting a helicopter pilot license? I’ve never been arrested before this recent event.




You’ll probably experience difficulties because the government has recently cracked down on pilots who have alcohol abuse problems. You may want to first take a look at  the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14: Aeronautics and Space, Part 61.

This part of the code covers the certification of both pilots and flight instructors.     Section 15 of Part 61, entitled “Offenses Involving Alcohol or Drugs,” indicates that  you might have to wait an extended period of time following a final DUI conviction  before your application for a pilot’s license will receive serious consideration.

It would be a good idea for you to consult with an aviation attorney about the timing of your future application. While rehab and similar programs can obviously improve your health and help you break your dependency on alcohol, they may also help you when you apply for a helicopter pilot license in the future.