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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Prompt Settlement Policy Guidance for Commercial Pilots in Drug and Alcohol Testing Cases

On July 19, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a notice of enforcement policy designated "Settlement Policy for Commercial Pilots in Drug and Alcohol Testing Cases (PDF)" in the Federal Register. The prompt settlement policy is effective October 1, 2018 and applies to commercial pilots who are first-time violators of the drug and alcohol testing regulations in 14 CFR part 120 and 14 CFR § 91.17(a)(1) (4). Pilots who participate in this policy and who have established qualifications to hold a new 14 CFR part 61 airman certificate and special issuance airman medical certificate under 14 CFR part 67 are expected to more quickly assume commercial flight crewmember duties.

Separate Prompt Settlement Policy Guidance is in effect for Legal Enforcement Actions Involving Medical Certificate Related Fraud, Intentional Falsification, Reproduction, or Alteration. Details are available at Airmen DUI/DWI and Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP).

For Prompt Settlement Policy for Commercial Pilots in Drug and Alcohol Testing Cases, commercial pilots who have committed one of the following DOT/FAA violations may elect to participate in this prompt settlement policy with the FAA:

  • Verified positive drug result or alcohol result with a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 or greater on any of the following test types1:
    • Random
    • Reasonable Cause/Reasonable Suspicion
    • Post-Accident
  • Refusals to submit to the following test types:
    • Pre-Employment Drug & Alcohol
    • Random Drug & Alcohol
    • Reasonable Cause/Reasonable Suspicion
    • Post-Accident Drug & Alcohol
  • Pre-duty alcohol misuse violations
  • Drug or alcohol violations of 14 CFR § 91.17(a)(1)-(4)

How to Participate

If you are preliminarily eligible to take advantage of the prompt settlement policy, a representative from the FAA's Drug Abatement Division will notify you in writing. Upon notification, you will have 10 days of receipt of your notification to inform the Drug Abatement Division at of your intent to participate. Failure to notify the Drug Abatement Division within 10 days will preclude you from participation.

Once you notify the Drug Abatement Division of your intent to participate, your case will be referred to the Enforcement Division in the FAA's Office of Chief Counsel. If you are eligible to take advantage of the prompt settlement policy, FAA enforcement counsel will send you a formal agreement that explains the conditions for prompt settlement. Once you receive your formal agreement, it must be executed (signed) within 10 days and returned to the FAA enforcement counsel.

Upon receipt of an executed agreement, FAA enforcement counsel will issue you an emergency order to initiate your revocation. The Emergency Order of Revocation will:

  1. require you to immediately surrender all your certificates issued under 14 CFR parts 61 and 67;
  2. notify you that failure to surrender these certificates will subject you to further legal enforcement action (including civil penalty); and
  3. inform you that the FAA will not accept an application for a new part 61 airman certificate for a period of one year from the date of your emergency order of revocation.

If you have questions about the prompt settlement policy, please contact the FAA's Drug Abatement Division at

1 The prompt settlement policy does not apply to individuals who have verified positive drug test results and confirmed BAC results of 0.04 or greater on a pre-employment, return-to-duty, or follow-up tests.

Last updated: Friday, May 12, 2023