Booze Charges Dropped, Pilot Wants Job Back


An AirTran pilot wants his job back after prosecutors dropped charges that he intended to fly an airliner while drunk. In a carefully worded statement, lawyer John Watkins said his client “wasn’t in violation of the law.” The pilot was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with trying to help fly 60 passengers from Las Vegas to Atlanta. But Clark County District Attorney David Roger told The Associated Press his office couldn’t prove the charge. For one thing, Nevada doesn’t specify a blood-alcohol limit for pilots and the pilot wasn’t in the cockpit when he was arrested. He was in the aircraft galley. Authorities were called by a security screener who said he smelled alcohol on the pilot. According to the AP report, authorities reported that a breath test showed he had more than .08 percent blood alcohol in his system shortly after his arrest, even though he passed a field sobriety test. A blood test four hours later showed a level of .01. His lawyer, Watkins, told the AP he would have challenged the breath test had the case gone to trial. AirTran did not immediately comment on the pilot’s future employment prospects.