Travel: Pilot sues cops after failing breathalyzer, passing blood test - PressFrom - US
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TravelPilot sues cops after failing breathalyzer, passing blood test

00:05  15 september  2019
00:05  15 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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A former SkyWest pilot filed a federal defamation lawsuit Tuesday against the two South Dakota police officers who arrested him for failing a breathalyzer test, saying he has been unable to find work since the 2016 incident despite being cleared by a blood test.

Pilot sues cops after failing breathalyzer, passing blood test© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer waits by an X-ray machine at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2013.

According to his complaint, Russell Duszak says Transportation Safety Administration officers reported him to airport police at Rapid City Regional Airport on Oct. 26, 2016, after an agent reported she "may have smelled the odor of alcohol" on a pilot going through security.

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An American Airlines pilot was preparing to fly from Detroit to Philadelphia when he was stopped by law enforcement SUBSCRIBE to ABC NEWS

Lisa Stark reports the latest information on a passenger flight out of Minneapolis.

Less than 15 minutes later, Officer Paul Hinzman boarded Duszak's aircraft and entered the cockpit, where the Duszak was in the co-pilot seat performing pre-flight checks.

"Mr. Duszak was alone on the flight deck and functioning in his assigned capacity, as First Officer of the aircraft, with zero impairment," the complaint states, adding that Hinzman escorted him off the plane to a private room for questioning.

Duszak, a Utah resident, claims Hinzman never performed any field sobriety tests prior to detaining him, reporting only that he detected a slight odor of alcohol and redness in the pilot's eyes. The pilot says that he requested a blood test immediately upon being detained but was denied.

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While failing a breathalyzer test doesn't guarantee a DUI conviction, passing a breathalyzer test Motorists charged with drunk driving should understand that a Breathalyzer -- a blood -alcohol The following article discusses the role BAC tests , particularly the ubiquitous Breathalyzer , play in a DUI

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Police arrested an American Airlines pilot who failed a breathalyzer test at London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, the London's Metropolitan Police said he was a 57-year-old man who was arrested 20 minutes before the plane was due to take off. He took a blood test

At that point, he says Hinzman called for backup and Officer Jerred Younie responded, arriving at around 10:48 a.m. CST, two-and-a-half hours into Duszak's detention.

Younie administered a Breathalyzer test, which registered his blood alcohol content (BAC) as .046, which is over the FAA's limit for pilots and other sensitive airline staff.

Younie did not arrest him at that point, the complaint says, because he "was confused about the law." Instead, he kept the pilot detained in the room while he left the airport to seek guidance from his bosses.

He returned around 12:30 p.m. CST, arrested Duszak for "attempting to operate an aircraft above .04 BAC based solely on a positive PBT (portable breath test) result with no other evidence" and took him to the police station, where he obtained a search warrant for a blood test, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asserts Younie drew Duszak's blood at approximately 12:48 p..m., two hours after the breathalyzer test and nearly five hours after the TSA officer said she smelled alcohol on him.

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His breathalyzer results showed his blood alcohol levels at 0.93 mg/L, more than 10 times the legal limit in the UK. The fact that the co- pilot had earlier ostensibly passed the JAL breath test has raised further questions Amazingly enough, Japanese law does not mandate a blood alcohol limit for pilots .

Enter the URL of the YouTube video to download subtitles in many different formats and languages. Pilot Arrested for Failing Breathalyzer Test Complain.

The pilot claims that Younie charged and jailed him before receiving the result of the blood test, which came back two days later. Toxicology results put his at BAC .015, below the FAA limit, prompting prosecutors to dismiss the charges.

But the damage had already been done, Duszak's lawsuit claims. It accuses Hinzman and Younie of defaming and slandering his personal and professional reputations in the media.

According to the complaint, the police "fed the media the false narrative that Mr. Duszak was 'drunk' and that 'safety of passengers' was at issue. Defendants used the media reports as a way to bolster their arrest statistics and bolster their image that they protected the public from a 'drunk' pilot.' "

As a result, Duszak says SkyWest, his employer of more than 10 years, fired him two days later on Oct. 28 and he has not been able to find work as a pilot since then. In the meantime, he has "suffered substantial financial injuries" including the legal costs incurred in fighting the criminal charge as well as as defending his pilot certificate.

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The pilot was given another breathalyzer test after being arrested, which was again above the legal limit, a spokesperson for the Detroit The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits pilots with a blood -alcohol level of 0.04% or greater from flying, and pilots are restricted from drinking 8 hours or

A pilot for Air India has been suspended after reportedly failing a breathalyzer test — twice — just over an hour before he was scheduled to fly. Kathpalia reportedly arrived before his scheduled flight from Delhi to London and was administered a routine breathalyzer test in a medical room.

USA TODAY has contacted SkyWest to ask why Duszak was fired despite passing his blood test and having the criminal charges dismissed. The airline has not responded.

Duszak, who is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages, is suing on the grounds of illegal detention, malicious prosecution, stigma and due process claim.

After reading of the lawsuit, Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris questioned Duszak's tactics on Twitter.

"I have a high degree of respect for airline pilots, but I insist they be completely sober when flying aircraft out of RAP," Jegeris wrote, referring to the airport code for Rapid City. "This pilot blew 0.046 BAC (blood alcohol content) on a portable breathalyzer test. Suing the Police Officers involved is absurd."

It's unclear whether Younie and Hinzman are still with the Rapid City Police Department or why the department itself was not named in the suit.

USA TODAY has requested comment from Jegeris as well as Duszak's attorney, Troy K. Walker, who did not immediately respond.

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