Drunk pilot faces charges

April 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

MINNEAPOLIS, April 10 (UPI) -- A Norwegian pilot is facing charges he tried to fly a New York-bound commuter jet from Minneapolis-St. Paul airport while intoxicated.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen, 48, of Raleigh, N.C., a Norwegian immigrant, had a blood alcohol level of .09 -- a tick above the .08 level set for drunkenness and more than twice the .04 level set for pilots -- when he was arrested Jan. 4 in the jetway of an American Eagle flight.

Airport police Tuesday filed charges of operating or attempting to operate an aircraft under the influence of alcohol in Hennepin County District Court but defense attorney Peter Wold said Kristiansen never actually tried to operate the plane, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Kristiansen has been on suspension since his arrest and could be fined $3,000 and spend a year in jail for each count.

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