3.4. Drug and alcohol testing

For pilots of manned aircraft drug screenings are part of their periodic medical exam. Depending on past experience and cultural factors companies need to decide if they should have a drug and alcohol testing policy even if this is not required by law.

Pilots of manned aircraft have rules about maximum alcohol blood levels and minimum time between last consumption of alcohol and flying. The FAA in the US for example mandates a maximum of 0.04% alcohol in blood (weight basis) and a minimum of 8 hours between the last consumption of alcohol and flying. In the US the very same rules apply also to drone pilots.

If the law of the country provides no clear guidance on this topic, clear and strict internal rules might still be advisable.


  1. Accidents caused by pilots under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. The company is found negligent due to the lack of a system to identify pilots with drug or alcohol problems.

Audit Steps

  1. Review written company rules related to drug and alcohol use.
  2. Review the company policy for scheduled or random drug and alcohol tests.
  3. Review compliance with internal policies related to drug and alcohol tests.


drone audit program index