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Salt Lake City Pilot Cleared of Alcohol Charges in Rapid City

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The pilot who was arrested on suspicion of drinking alcohol before he could fly out of Rapid City will not face charges.

According to the Rapid City Journal, the charge of operating a plane while intoxicated against 39-year old Russell Duszak of Salt Lake City was dismissed on Monday.

On October 26, a security worker smelled alcohol on Duszak before a flight at Rapid City Regional Airport. Police administered a breathalyzer test that indicated a blood-alcohol content reading of 0.046 percent, which is above the 0.04 legal limit for pilots.

However a breathalyzer test result is not admissible in court and a blood test was performed hours later that according to Pennington County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel showed no discernable amount of alcohol in Duszak’s system.

SkyWest Airlines immediately placed Duszak on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. It is not clear if the airline has cleared Duszak for duty since the criminal case against him is closed.

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