Pilot Removed From Plane After Blowing 4 Times Legal Limit On Breathalyzer

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FILE PHOTO: JetBlue Airways aircraft are pictured at departure gates at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York

Police removed a JetBlue pilot from the cockpit before takeoff after he failed a breathalyzer test Wednesday, Buffalo News reported.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents spotted the pilot, James Clifton, who appeared to be impaired as he went through security in Buffalo Niagara International Airport and approached his Fort Lauderdale-bound airplane, according to Buffalo News.

TSA agents notified local police, who administered a breathalyzer test and removed the pilot from the cockpit after he registered a 0.17% blood-alcohol level, more than four times the legal limit for pilots, Buffalo News reported.

Clifton was taken into police custody and released to his employer, JetBlue, who said he would be “removed from his duties,” according to Buffalo News.

“The safety of JetBlue’s customers and crewmembers is our first priority,” JetBlue said in a statement to Buffalo News. “We adhere to all DOT rules and requirements concerning alcohol at all times and have a very strict zero tolerance internal alcohol policy.”

“We are aware of the incident that occurred this morning in Buffalo and are cooperating fully with law enforcement,” the airline statement said. “We are also conducting our own internal investigation. The crewmember involved has been removed from his duties.”

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