Alaska Airlines pilot charged for flying while under the influence of alcohol

An Alaska Airlines pilot was charged Thursday after allegedly piloting a passenger aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.

David Hans Arnston, 60, was arrested after he was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.134 percent during a random drug and alcohol test administered by his employer.

Arnston was the pilot of two Alaska Airlines flights on June 20, 2014, according to the criminal complaint. The first flight was from San Diego International Airport to Portland Oregon, then he flew to John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

“Those in command of passenger jets, or any other form of public transportation, have an obligation to serve the public in the safest and most responsible way possible,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “We cannot and will not tolerate those who violate the trust of their passengers by endangering lives.”

The former captain was arraigned on the felony charge Wednesday afternoon in a federal court in Los Angeles and was released on a $25,000 bond.

According to federal law, a person operating a commercial airliner is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol when his or her blood alcohol content is 0.10 percent or higher.

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