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High-Flying Pilot Arrested for DUI at St. Lucie County Airport

Posted on August 9, 2012

As if drunk driving isn’t enough of a problem on Florida’s roads and highways.

Now this:

A 36-year-old New Port Richey man was arrested for operating a single-engine airplane while under the influence of alcohol after he landed his small plane at the St. Lucie County International Airport. Authorities on the ground were tipped off after a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s helicopter pilot reported that a small airplane was flying extremely low and had attempted to land at the airport several times.

A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigator rendezvoused with the plane after it landed at 1:30 a.m. and noticed that the pilot’s breath smelled of alcohol. After conducting a field sobriety test, he was arrested. The pilot refused to submit to a breath test.

A St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy also arrested the plane’s 47-year-old passenger after it was discovered that he had 15 alprazolam pills and a pipe with possible marijuana residue in his pocket.

This time, there were no injuries or deaths associated with this extremely reckless act, but that was lucky. While spectacular mid-air collisions make the news, many airplane accidents in Florida happen on the ground, when a plane is taking off, landing, or simply taxiing on the runway.

Airplane accidents that occur on or near the ground can be attributed to engine and landing gear failure, fuel tank explosions, instrument malfunctions — and yes, pilot error.

If you’ve been injured or if you’ve lost a loved one in an airplane accident caused by equipment failure or pilot error, the Jacksonville airplane accident attorneys at Farah & Farah will work to see that you are fairly compensated. Contact us at (800) 533-3555 to discuss your case and your legal options.