DUI with Accident

Hello Mentors,

I am 38 years old working as IT Manager. I have always been interested in a flying career and with all my responsibilities settled i have enough funds to support a career pilot training ( Family is also supportive ). I am on a work visa in US. Issue is i got a DUI 10 years ago, Was driving from a party and it was a complete lapse of judgement. I did not yield to a left turn and a car hit my car, No one was injured. I cooperated with authorities and blew a 0.20, Cops took a blood test which came as 0.14 ( The breathalyzer was faulty). Initially was charged for all offenses but later dropped and case was based on blood test which was 0.14. Accepted fines and 2 days in jail with a alcohol program. I completed all my responsibilities and expunged the record.( i will be honest when i attend class1 medicals and declare it ).

I completely rehabilitated after the incident which traumatized my family also and quit drinking completely. I did good in my IT career and now at a manager position with a six figure salary. US immigration and Homeland security issued me 2 visa extensions so far and they are very understanding during visa interview with the explanation and documentation provided.

Do you think i have a shot at a pilot career. I am from India and have Australian permanent residency ( Declared DUI and supplied both local and FBI arrest records and they had no concerns ). My plan is to complete all my training in USA ( Because of Reputation, Quality and references ) and do some unpaid instructor work to build hours during my weekends and evening hours.

I have been reading about the DUI , Criminal issues and looks like its a tough road ahead with any DUI or traffic incidents. I have read recent answers that DUI should not be a sure denial if you can prove excellent in all other areas etc., DUI with accident is a more severe offence from a situation point of view so the reason for this specific question.

Thanks for taking out time providing guidance although you have very busy aviation careers. Your help to the society is commendable.


First and foremost you cannot work as a pilot in the US without being either a citizen or having US permanent resident status (even for free). Further if you were to gain resident status building your 1500 hours nights and weekends will take years. Factor in your DUI with an accident and I have to say I’m less than optimistic. While a DUI is not an immediate disqualifier you got this DUI as a “guest” in this country, which shows a disregard and disrespect for the laws. The pilots who conduct interviews are humans and while there is nothing saying you couldn’t be hired I cannot imagine them turning a blind eye to your offense.

Not impossible but definitely a tough road.



Actually, there are a few regional airlines that will sponsor a work visa for Australian citizens (this program is only available to Australians). You can read more about it here: http://www.flycommutair.com/e-3-visa/ to my knowledge there are no major airline late that do this, so you would need to plan on getting your US residency at some point.

As the DUI was a long time ago, I do not see it being a big deal. It seems as though you truly learned from the incident. Hopefully you have kept your record completely clean since then.

I recommend that you contact the recruiting departments of several regional airlines and ask them about both your arrest record and your work status in the US.


Hello Adam & Chris,
Thank you very much for your valuable inputs. Appreciate your time. I will try a PPL and see where it takes me.