Operating under the influence

December 03, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When a circuit court judge calls you rip-roaring drunk, you need to re-think your decision to operate an airplane. 

A pilot was concerned that his co-pilot was not OK when they arrived at the Traverse City airport, so he called authorities, who found the co-pilot preparing the plane for the flight and calibrating and programming the flight management system. 

They also found he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.3. 

He was arrested for operating an airplane under the influence of alcohol, but he argued that since he wasn't yet flying, he couldn't be arrested for operating it. 

The appeals court didn't buy it. He was performing operational tasks while in control of the plane, and that was enough, according to the court. 

While you may not ever fly a plane, you should know that you can be arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence even if you're not driving it at the time, if, for example, you're asleep in the car by the side of the road with the keys in it. 

If you've been drinking, recalibrate your decision-making and leave the driving to others.