Airline Blames Breath Test Result on Diet

This article was published by Reuters on April 7, 2007.

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) – An airline pilot arrested just before take-off on suspicion of being over the alcohol limit was not drunk and the diet he was on may have been to blame for the confusion, airline Virgin Atlantic said on Saturday.

Police arrested the 47-year-old pilot of a New York-bound Virgin Atlantic [VA.UL] plane at London’s Heathrow airport last Saturday after being tipped off by security staff who thought the pilot had been drinking.

While an initial breath test showed the pilot to be over the alcohol limit, police told the pilot on Saturday that a blood test was negative, Virgin Atlantic spokesman Paul Charles said.

“The result showed the amount of alcohol in the blood was consistent with that of a non-drinker,” he said.

No charges will be brought against the British pilot, whose name was not released. The pilot, suspended after the incident, will be able to resume his duties immediately, the airline said.

“He is elated with the news and is keen to resume his flying career as soon as possible,” Charles said.

Charles said a diet the pilot had been on may have been the cause of the mistake. A laboratory that carried out a blood test on the pilot said some diets led the body to generate increased levels of acetone, he said. “It would smell like alcohol on someone’s breath,” he said.

Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

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