JetBlue Pilot is Accused Of Flying From Florida to New York While Drunk
A JetBlue pilot is accused of flying a plane from Florida to New York while under the influence of alcohol.
Dennis Murphy Jr., 44, from New Jersey, was picked for a random alcohol test after landing an airliner carrying 151 passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in April last year, according to federal prosecutors.
He allegedly failed the breathalyzer test, according to the federal complaint, which was made public on Wednesday. His blood alcohol content was allegedly 0.111, which exceeds the legal limit. When he took the breathalyzer test again 15 minutes later, it read .091, according to the federal complaint.
He allegedly suggested the high results could be a result of the gum he was chewing.
Before he was stopped, Murphy had flown to Orlando carrying 119 passengers. He then returned to JFK with 151 on board.
His co-pilot allegedly told authorities that he saw Murphy "drinking an unknown beverage from a cup" before and during the flights.
Murphy, who joined the company just three months before the alleged incident, was arrested at his New Jersey home on Wednesday morning and was later released on $50,000 bond.
When reporters asked him outside a Brooklyn court on Wednesday if he had been drinking, Murphy said "no comment," CBS NY reported.
A spokesperson for JetBlue told InsideEdition.com that the company has a "zero tolerance" drug and alcohol policy.
"Following last year’s incident, the crewmember was removed from duty and is no longer employed at JetBlue," it said in a statement.
If convicted, Murphy could face 15 years in prison.
Airlines can carry out random alcohol and drug tests on its pilots, under federal law.