Delta Airlines pilot sentenced to 10 months in jail for exceeding alcohol limit during flight

(CNN) — A Delta Airlines pilot was sentenced to 10 months in jail after pleading guilty to driving over the blood alcohol limit at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, according to Scottish judiciary records.

Lawrence Barbiers Russell Jr., 63, pleaded guilty on March 5. He was scheduled to captain a flight from Edinburgh to New York’s JFK Airport on the morning of June 16, 2023, but his blood alcohol test exceeded the prescribed limit of 20 milligrams. , the court said.

“At 9:15 he arrived at baggage control wearing his pilot’s uniform. He had a Delta Airlines lanyard and a crew pass. He placed his bag on a tray and sent it for X-ray examination. “His tray was Sheriff Allison “It was rejected due to the amount of fluid in the X-ray machine. He identified the tray as his own and his bag was manually searched,” Sterling said in court.

“It was found that two bottles of Jägermeister were in his bag, one of which was open and half full. Since he was wearing a pilot’s uniform, police were contacted. Officers arrived shortly after. The man Gave my description to the police. And I told them I was a captain for Delta Airlines.”

When asked about the open bottle, he said he had been drinking the night before, but at 9:57 a.m. he failed a breath test, was arrested and later given a blood sample , which was more than the prescribed limit.

The court said Russell was a recovering alcoholic who had successfully completed a treatment program.

“Despite the presumption against imposing a shorter sentence in Scotland, custody is the only appropriate disposition, taking into account the seriousness of the offence. His offending shows a high level of culpability and a high likelihood of causing serious harm.” Specifically, you were going to be the captain of that flight, you had a half-full bottle of Jägermeister and the flight had to be canceled,” Sheriff Sterling said.

CNN has contacted Delta for comment.


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