A year ago, the Australia Civil Aviation Safety Authority introduced new regulations dealing with Alcohol and Other Drugs in Aviation.  In Issue 76 of the Flight Safety Australia magazine (Sept-Oct 2010), they had these handy facts.


  1. 0.02 is effectively zero. *
  2. Each standard drink you consume takes one hour to clear your system.
    One drink = one hour;
    Two drinks = two hours;
    Three drinks = three hours, and so on.
    It all adds up.
  3. The effects of alcohol can last up to 48-hours.
  4. So, you can be under 0.02, and still be disoriented and dehydrated.
  5. Over-the-counter does not necessarily mean safe. #
  6. Beware of codeine.
  7. You can be tested anytime, anywhere (where safety-sensitive aviation activities take place).
  8. Drugs tested for are: cannabis, cocaine, meth/amphetamine and opiates.
  9. ‘Rebound fatigue, following lengthy periods of meth/amphetamine use, presents a considerable risk to safety.
  10.   www.casa.gov.au/aod has all this information and more.

*  Several of the people Flight Safety spoke to queried the 0.02 blood alcohol figure. The AOD program uses this figure because it gives scientific certainty that the person has actually consumed alcohol. This is distinct from what can happen in some people, where their bodies can produce small amounts of alcohol naturally. The 0.02 figure therefore effectively means
zero consumption of alcohol. The eight hour bottle-to-throttle rule still remains – it’s just that there is now a scientific way of con?rming that the person has consumed alcohol.

# A range of over-the-counter or prescription drugs may result in a positive sample. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist before using any medications or therapeutic substances. They can recommend alternative options.

Some of the over-the-counter or prescription drugs which may result in a positive sample are:

Positive for opiates:
preparations containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine, Codis, Codral Cold and Flu, Nurofen Plus), and preparations containing morphine (e.g. MS Contin).

Positive for amphetamine-type stimulants:
preparations containing dexamphetamine.

some preparations used during ear/nose/throat surgery may contain cocaine.