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Information contained within, provided by your MEC officers Roger Holmin, Mark Gentile, and Glenda Talley. See local information, on your respective local page. All information posted by the Communications Chair

AFA CWA

Blood Alcohol Issues for Crew Members in the UK
Posted On: Mar 28, 2013

AFA - CWA US Airways MEC E-Line
 

AFA - CWA US Airways MEC E-Line - "Staying Informed"

The AFA Newsletter for US Airways Flight Attendants

    In this Issue

March 28, 2013  

  • Blood Alcohol Issues for Crew Members in the UK

  • Accessing The Hub

  • AFA Local Numbers

Dear Members,

 

Blood Alcohol Issues for Crew Members in the UK

 

Below you will find important information USAPA has sent to their members concerning working crew members to the UK. This information brings notification to their members that Security BAA Screeners may notify police of any crewmember, pilot or flight attendant, they suspect of consuming alcohol. This situation has been specific to departing flights. The information explains they are not launching a proactive campaign but that this situation has occurred.

It is important to note that their beer and ale have a higher content of alcohol than American brands and their strict blood alcohol limit is .02. Please see the information below.

 

Thank You,

 

Your MEC Officers

-------------

British Blood Alcohol Issues for Crew Members

Last week we notified you about random alcohol screening for outbound international crew members. Below is the briefing slides on Alcohol Information for US Airways Crews traveling to the U.K. While there is no proactive effort to "catch" crew members by BAA security screeners, they are required to report any crew member suspected to be under the influence of alcohol. If police are notified, they will request the suspect to take a breathalyzer test. Crew members who refuse a legal request by the police for a breathalyzer test will be arrested.

Please take the time to review this important presentation.

USAPA Security

British Blood Alcohol Issues and Answers

How British Laws affect you as a US Airways Crew member
25 March 2013

USAPA SECURITY COMMITTEE UK UPDATE

  • Alcohol Information for US Airways Crews Traveling to the U.K.
  • Recent events have brought attention to the need for better education and understanding of British rules and regulations pertaining to alcohol use, screening procedures and the rights and responsibilities of our flight crews.
  • This presentation is intended to provide important information to pilots and flight attendants regarding the use of alcohol when traveling to the U.K
  • Flight crew members are governed by multiple regulations in the United States, including (but not limited to) FARs, DOT and US Airways company policy.
  • Pilots and flight attendants should not perform any aviation-related duties within twelve hours (13 if you count the start of duty) after the consumption of alcohol.
  • Be aware of the potential ramifications and residual effects from drinking.
  • In the UK, Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) must be less than .02 to avoid arrest .
  • We are governed by the laws of the U.K., the host nation, when visiting their country.
  • British laws governing alcohol use by aviation personnel are covered in the Railways and Transport Safety Act of 2003.
  • These laws contain many similar regulations to U.S. law; however, there are some important differences.
  • Pilots and flight attendants are subject to these strict standards.
  • Legal alcohol limits (UK):
  • Breath: 9 micrograms in 100 milliliters
  • Blood: 20 milligrams in 100 milliliters
  • Blood Alcohol Content by breath analysis .02%
  • This is 1/2 the legal limit used in the United States.
  • "A person commits an offense if he performs an aviation function at a time when his ability to perform the function is inhibited because of drink or drugs."
  • "Where a person sets out to perform an aviation function, anything which he does by way of preparing to perform the function shall be treated as an activity ancillary to it."
  • A person found guilty of an offense under British law shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, to a fine, or to both.
  • U.K. police are required to investigate all credible reports of suspected alcohol abuse by crew members.
  • USAPA/ AA / APA / APFA have all worked with U.K. authorities to ensure proper protocols are followed in determining legitimacy of reported abuse.
  • U.K. police have full authority to board aircraft in the course of an investigation.
  • There is no proactive effort to "catch" crew members by BAA security screeners.
  • However, screeners are required to report any crew member suspected to be under the influence of alcohol to airport police. (The same as U.S. protocol.)
  • Security screeners do not have the authority to detain or test crew members.
  • Since screeners can not detain suspects, crew members may not be stopped at the security checkpoint and could continue to the aircraft before being met by police.
  • Once notified, police will request suspect to take a breathalyzer test.
  • Normally, tests will be conducted in a separate closed area, not aboard the aircraft. However, police may make the final determination of the test location.
  • Note: If you refuse the test, you will be arrested for "failure to submit to the lawful order of a police officer," which is a separate charge from the alcohol offense.
  • If the suspect tests at or below the legal limit, the investigation is over and the crew member will be released.
  • If the suspect tests above the legal limit, he or she will be arrested.
  • After an arrest, the crew member will be taken to a police/medical facility for advance breathalyzer, blood or urine tests.
  • The crew member may determine which test will be used.
  • Blood and urine tests will provide split samples for the protection of the crew member.
  • Once testing is complete, the crew member may be released on his or her own recognizance, and ordered to appear before a magistrate at a later date (pending the receipt of the blood/urine test results).
  • The crew member should expect to be tested again upon return to the U.S., per company regulations.
  • The accused is strongly advised to retain legal counsel and return at pre-determined date for court appearance.
  • Trial or summary judgment may occur depending upon the circumstances.
  • As in the U.S., suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
  • The accused has the right to an attorney. He or she should request the presence of an attorney prior to testing, but this can not be the basis of an unreasonable request to delay the test.
  • The accused has the right to due process.
  • The accused has the right to any fluid samples taken after the arrest.
  • Crew members who refuse a legal request by the police for a breathalyzer test will be arrested.
  • DO NOT engage in any aviation function if you suspect you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (in general, aviation functions start once you enter the secure area of the airport, which is the security checkpoint where the crew bus stops).
  • DO NOT allow any crewmember on your flight to board an aircraft for duty if you suspect they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as you could be prosecuted for this.
  • Alcohol legal limits in the U.K. are twice as strict as those in the U.S.
  • The alcohol content of many British beers and ale products is much higher than in American brands.
  • This combination places you at a much higher risk, even if you think you are within the limit.
  • Standard drinking practices (such as one beer per hour and the eight-hour rule) may not work in the U.K
  • BAC will vary for each person depending on weight, sex and body fat.
  • A general guideline is as follows: approximately one drink/can of beer or glass of wine = .02 to .05 BAC.
  • It will require approximately 1.5 to three hours to metabolize this much alcohol to 0 BAC.
  • Remember, this is just a general guide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Information contained within, provided by your MEC officers Roger Holmin, Mark Gentile, and Glenda Talley. See local information, on your respective local page. All information posted by the Communications Chair.

Your MEC Officers
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