ORLANDO, Fla. — A JetBlue pilot was charged with flying under the influence of alcohol from Orlando after routine testing last year.
According to a criminal complaint released Wednesday, Dennis Murphy Jr. was under the influence when he piloted a flight from Orlando International Airport on April 21, 2015. JetBlue Flight 584 was carrying 151 passengers.
Murphy was selected for testing when they plane landed in New York City. He allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .11. A Federal Aviation Administration regulation limits a pilots’ blood alcohol content to .04.
After Murphy was presented with the test results, he reportedly blamed the reading on the gum he was chewing.
Earlier in the day, Murphy piloted a flight from JFK to Orlando. That flight had 119 passengers on board.
His co-pilot later told investigators he observed Murphy “drinking an unknown beverage from a cup before and during” both flights.
JetBlue released the following statement regarding the incident:
JetBlue 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.
Murphy was released from prison Wednesday on a $50,000 bond after appearing in a federal court in Brooklyn.”
If convicted, Murphy faces up to 15 years in prison.