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Two Pilots Were Arrested on Suspicion of Being Drunk at Work

Dragging yourself to your job hungover is one thing, but doing it still drunk probably isn't best when you've got hundreds of lives to look after.

(Photo by Bernal Saborio via)

Look, we all know what hangovers are like. Just about every working person who drinks alcohol has shown up to work, at one time or another, quivering under the weight of the dehydration and headache one-two punch pounded by waking up with too much booze in your bloodstream. If you're one of those smug people who never drinks, congratulations; you've nonetheless probably seen your colleagues suffer.


Showing up at work still drunk is a slightly different matter, though. It takes a certain amount of dedication to ignore your body's general signals of drunkenness – shoddy footing, slurred words, really having something important to say about the Labour party leadership race – to keep going for so long that a few hours' sleep don't sober you up. Once you've dragged yourself out of bed and into work, you know the hangover itself will only sink in during the late afternoon, once the bleary-eyed euphoria of day-after intoxication fully wears off.

With this in mind, spare a thought for two pilots who were not only made to leave work on Saturday morning but arrested, on suspicion of being drunk. They'd shown up to Glasgow Airport, seemingly primed and ready to fly to Newark in New Jersey, reportedly not quite sober.

Police Scotland said the pilots were placed under arrest in relation to something known as the Railways and Transport/Safety Act 2003, one section of which covers "carrying out pilot function or activity while exceeding the prescribed limit of alcohol".

At this point, it's unclear whether the two United Airlines pilots really were too drunk to fly. But in any case, the passengers who expected to fly out to New Jersey at 9AM on Saturday had to wait until about 7PM to get going. United Airlines said that the pilots, aged 35 and 45, have had their flying duties suspended while an investigation is underway. The two true lads are now expected to appear in court on Monday.

Weirdly, this isn't the only time this week that a pilot's had their wings clipped for being intoxicated on the job. A co-pilot in Michigan was arrested on Thursday, after he showed up to fly a small charter plane with "the strong odour of intoxicants emanating from his person", according to a local police captain.

Last month, Glasgow Airport had another alcohol-related incident too. Two Canadian pilots were meant to fly more than 300 people on an Air Transat flight but were arrested at the airport on suspicion of being impaired through booze. In fairness, the limit is 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, which is basically half what's allowed to legally drive a car in Scotland. Obviously, you need to have your wits about you a little more to weave a carbon fibre aircraft through the sky with hundreds of people onboard. This weekend's two pilots will have to have their day in court to try and tell their side of the story.