Flying Under the Influence Results in Clearance Denial
Driving under the influence is pretty serious and can get people injured or killed. Flying under the influence is on a whole new plain. A defense contractor was recently denied clearance eligibility for
exactly this offense. Here are the particulars of his appeal to the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals:
The contractor was a United States Air Force pilot until he retired in 2011 and went to work for a commercial aircraft company. His daily alcohol intake consisted of 10 to 14 drinks and his behavior
eventually led to his wife leaving him temporarily. He admitted to investigators that he had frequently flown airplanes while intoxicated, both in the military and private industry. In fact, he was fired from private companies for showing up drunk to fly the plane. One of the firings happened in 2018 when a TSA agent smelled alcohol on him as he was going through the security checkpoint. He was detained, given a field sobriety test, and had blood drawn, the results showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit for driving.
The disqualifying factors in this case fell under alcohol consumption, personal conduct, and criminal conduct. Although there were mitigating conditions such as time elapsed since the conduct occurred, his voluntary enrollment in an alcohol abuse treatment program, and self-proclaimed abstinence since 2018, the seriousness of flying while intoxicated multiple times and endangering the lives of the people on the plane was still a security concern. The judge ultimately denied his appeal in favor of national security.