A former Alaska Airlines captain faces jail time for driving a plane with passengers, while under the influence of alcohol, more than four years after the incident has occurred.
(David Arnston Google+)
A former Alaska Airlines pilot will be a year behind bars for flying in a state of intoxication — more than three times the legal limit in June 2014.
On Wednesday, the U. S. Attorney’s Office in the centre of California announced that the former Alaska Airlines captain David Hans Arnston sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for driving a plane with 80 passengers on board, CBS News reports.
KTLA 5 adds that Arnston will also have to pay a $10,000 fine, in addition.
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The 63-year-old pilot from Newport Beach, California., previously pled guilty to the crime in February of this year. On June 20, 2014, Arnston piloted two flights of San Diego, Calif., to Portland, Oregon, with 160 passengers on board; and then back to San Diego for the control of a second Alaska Airlines flight with 80 passengers. On deplaning in San Diego, he was randomly selected for drug and alcohol testing by the carrier.
According to the plea agreement, both breathalyzer test performed on Arnston “were well above the federal limit of 0.04 percent for pilots,” indicating blood alcohol concentration of 0.134 and 0.142 percent, more than three times the legal limit.
For comparison, according to the Department of motor Vehicles, it is illegal for adults to operate motor vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher in the state of California; that percentage drops to 0.04 percent for the operational, commercial vehicles. Minimum first offenses are fines, possible imprisonment, and mantadory alcohol treatment classes, among other sanctions. This operational, commercial vehicles, criminal sanctions, and license suspensions.
After touching down at John Wayne Airport and the spotting of the drug tester, Arnston reportedly said, “I bet it’s for me,” according to his co-pilot on the two flights said, CBS reports.
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Arnston was then removed from all safety-sensitive tasks by Alaska Airlines, and he retired from employment with the carrier after a 20-year-long career as a captain, KTLA reports. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also revoked his pilot’s license.
Prosecutors said that Arnston was an alcoholic “for at least a substantial portion” of his career, and hid the fact from both the carrier and the FAA.
Representatives of Alaska Airlines not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Alexandra Deabler contributed to this report.
Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter via @JaninePuhak