Failed drug test question


I just found out I failed a drug test while applying to become a police officer last year (before deciding on flight school). I called their PD to appeal saying it’s a lab mistake but they won’t budge (they couldn’t care less about my clean record, or me trying to reason how comically stupid it would be for anyone to use drugs when applying to become a cop…).

What’s worse is I only got this news AFTER submitting my first-class medical form online but BEFORE my doctor’s appointment (i.e. I’ve already told the FAA I never failed a drug test…).

Is it over for me?
From reading your answers it looks like people don’t make captains with a failed drug test on their record.



This is an interesting conundrum you find yourself in. I think because there has been so much time passed that it will be very difficult to argue that it was a lab mistake.

As for the form, just tell your AME that you need to change an answer, he can do it for you. I would expect that because of the failed test, you will be subject to a lengthy review by the FAA and could even have your medical application denied. I suspect the lab mistake argument will not hold up.

I would not say things are over, but it just got a heck of a lot more complicated for you. Your AME will be your best source of guidance on this.


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Are you not able to submit another 8500 form online? I would submit another one with the correct information. If not, have the AME change it for you. Most likely the AME will have to send your application to the FAA for further review. Wait and see what the FAA says before giving up just yet.


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Is it ok to submit it online twice and take the most recent paper version to the AME physical?

10-4, thanks.


To my knowledge you cannot change your MedXpress form, only your AME can. It does need to be changed and as Chris said it can and probably will become a lengthy process.

As for your comment “how comically stupid it would be” frankly that’s not an arguement. There are literally hundreds of pilots who have lost their careers after spending tens of thousands of dollars on training, years sacrificing and building time who finally land their dream job and blow it by getting drunk and doing something stupid.

Btw, drug charges are not have nothing to do with becoming a Capt. If you’re able to clear this up you’ll be fine, if you can’t you won’t be a pilot, Capt or otherwise.



Thank you all.

I would get AOPA Premium membership and talk to their Medical Experts / Lawyer which included in that Membership.

They will give you accurate info and it is confidential.

Anything you tell the FAA or an AME goes on your record. So talk to AOPA before you make a possible mole hill into a mountain. And if it is a mountain, AOPA has climbed it and will be your best guide.

Chris F

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I highly recommend AOPA for their medical and law connections. Super helpful!