Colorado EMS Pilot Charged With DUI While On His Way To His Base

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A 40-year-old medevac helicopter pilot is charged in Colorado with driving under the influence (DUI) while on his way to work. As reported by CBS, an Elbert County Sheriff’s deputy described Aaron Fouquette, reportedly a 20-year veteran U.S. Army pilot, as “unsteady” and “wobbling” after he was stopped for speeding and erratic driving on the evening of Jan. 7.

Fouquette has since resigned from his position with AirLife Denver, which serves the HealthOne hospital system with emergency medical services (EMS) transport. He was on his way to his base in Hugo, Colorado, when he was apprehended.

The deputy wrote in his report that when Fouquette rolled down his window after the traffic stop, the deputy detected “a strong unknown alcoholic beverage … Aaron was in a flight … suit [and] said he was going to his base in Hugo, Colorado.”

A subsequent breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.126. A level of 0.08 is considered driving under the influence in Colorado. Fouquette’s attorney said he “fully cooperated with the investigation and is taking the matter seriously.”

Asked what would have happened had the pilot not been stopped on the highway, a spokesperson for AirLife responded, “We have safeguards in place to help crew members assess personal readiness, identify potentially dangerous situations and be able to report them effectively to prevent any unsafe flying conditions.” The spokesperson also said, “In addition to meeting all federal requirements and following a drug and alcohol program similar to the one enforced by commercial airlines, [the company] performs random testing at a higher rate than what is required by Department of Transportation regulations.”

CBS reported that a news article from 2009 attributed Fouquette with 36 months of combat experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. We don’t know what his intentions were, he might have never stepped foot inside the helicopter. He’ll be punished for drunk driving and probably lose his job. I don’t know if he deserves a 2nd chance, but I hope he gets some help. As a military veteran he at least deserves that.

  2. I am sure it is terrible for him, but the question about what might have happened if he arrived at the chopper has a obvious answer — he might have had a couple of whiffs of oxygen from a bottle and flown away.
    Used to happen a lot.

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