US Airways Cited for Overserving Alcohol on Flight that Led to DUI Accident

US airwaysThe New Mexico Regulation and License Department recently cited US Airways for the second time in the past six (6) months for an incident that occurred last week in which a passenger of the airline traveling from Phoenix to Albuquerque was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving shortly after he landed.  According to a Bernalillo County Sherriff Deputy, forty-nine-year-old (49) Ernest Wright was arrested with a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent: twice the state’s legal limit.  Mr. Wright told police he began drinking at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and continued to drink on his flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque.

The initial US Airways citation occurred last November after an airline passenger was involved in a fatal traffic accident shortly after getting off a US Airway’s flight in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to law enforcement, the airline passenger was driving the wrong way on the highway when he collided with another vehicle killing himself and a family of five.

After the first incident in November, according to US Airways Spokeswoman Andrea Rader, the airline “was issued a cease-and-desist order to stop serving alcohol on flights in and out of New Mexico until it received a state liquor license,” Based on the most recent incident, Ms. Rader said the citation will not suspend the airline’s temporary liquor license it uses for flights into and out of New Mexico, but she is not sure whether this citation will affect the decision to grant the airline a permanent liquor license. According to Ms. Rader, the airline is looking into the latest incident and takes it seriously.  Ms. Rader said, “There are federal regulations and, of course, our own policies about serving someone who’s obviously intoxicated. It’s a robust part of our flight-attendant initial and recurrent training.”

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