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Delta Pilot Reports for Transatlantic Flight Intoxicated, Gets Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison

The pilot was ordered to take a breath and blood test, which he both failed, after two bottles of alcohol were found in his bag, per the Judiciary of Scotland

<p>Charlie Riedel/AP</p> Delta pilot walking through airport terminal

Charlie Riedel/AP

Delta pilot walking through airport terminal
  • A Delta Airlines pilot was sentenced to 10 months in prison after he reported for duty while intoxicated at Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport 

  • After airport security found two bottles of Jägermeister in his bag, he was ordered to do a breath and blood sample which he both failed 

  • The pilot appeared in court in Scotland on March 5 and pled guilty to the charges

A Delta pilot has been sentenced to ten months in jail after he reported for duty intoxicated at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland.

U.S. resident Lawrence Russell Jr., 63, was meant to fly a transatlantic passenger flight from Edinburgh to New York City on June 16, 2023, when his bag was “rejected by the x-ray machine due to the volume of liquids” found in it at security, according to a statement released by the Judiciary of Scotland.

The bag allegedly contained “two bottles of Jägermeister, one of which was open and was just under half full,” per the statement. Police officers were then contacted and Russell, who told them he was a pilot for Delta Airlines, was immediately ordered to give a breath sample and failed.

Per the statement, the Delta pilot told officers that he had been drinking the night before. After failing the breath test, he was arrested and taken to Livingston Police Office where he agreed to give a blood sample.

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<p>Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty</p> Edinburgh Airport

Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty

Edinburgh Airport

The sample revealed that the “proportion of alcohol” in Russell’s blood exceeded Scotland’s limit of 20 milligrams. According to the Code of Federal Regulations in the U.S., it is prohibited for pilots to fly if the alcohol concentration reaches 0.04 grams per deciliter in a blood or breath sample.

It is also illegal to pilot a plane “within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage” according to the Code.

Related: You Actually Should Stand Up ASAP When the Plane Lands, Says Travel Expert: Here's Why (Exclusive)

<p>Getty</p> Delta airplane

Getty

Delta airplane

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, a Delta spokesperson said: “Delta was aware of this incident and removed the pilot from service while conducting a thorough investigation in coordination with Scottish authorities.”

Livingston Police Office has not yet responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Sentencing Sheriff Alison Stirling gave Russell a 10-month prison sentence at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court on March 5 for attempting to pilot the Boeing 767 aircraft after drinking. The initial 15-month sentence was shortened because Russell “pled guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

The statement also reveals that the former Delta pilot was previously diagnosed with Severe Alcohol Use Disorder and was in remission after completing treatment at the time of his arrest.

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Read the original article on People.