Pilot Pleads Not Guilty to Drunk Flying

Airplane in the airport

Pilots have a lot of responsibility, particularly commercial airline pilots. They are probably one of the last people most want accused of DUI. Yet, pilots are human and commit human mistakes. A former Alaska Airlines pilot has pleaded not guilty to piloting a jetliner while under the influence of alcohol.

Former pilot David Arnston entered the plea on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 in Los Angeles. The charge was a federal one: operating a passenger plane while under the influence. If convicted, Arnston can face up to 15-years in federal prison. He is currently free on bond.

Authorities allege that Arnston was legally drunk when he piloted two flights for Alaska Airlines back in 2014. One flight was from San Diego to Portland and the second flight was from Portland to John Wayne Airport, located in Orange County.

Testing conducted after the flight indicated that Arnston had a blood-alcohol content well in excess of the legal limit of .10.

Arnston was removed from safety-sensitive duties by the airline. He retired shortly thereafter.

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