Report: Charges dropped for SkyWest Airlines pilot accused of intoxication before flight to SLC

A file photo of a SkyWest aircraft. Image courtesy SkyWest Airlines.

A file photo of a SkyWest aircraft. Image courtesy SkyWest Airlines.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The State of South Dakota has dismissed a criminal charge against a SkyWest Airlines pilot who was accused of being under the influence of alcohol just before he was scheduled to fly 45 passengers from Rapid City, South Dakota to Salt Lake City, according to a report by Rapid City Journal.

Russel Duszak, who lives in Utah, was arrested on October 26 after a security worker at Rapid City Regional Airport reported him to authorities, the report said. Pilots are prohibited from flying with a blood alcohol content of over .04 and officers said Duszak was over that limit.

According to Rapid City Journal’s report, breath tests are not admissible in court. Duszak also submitted to a blood test, the report said, but the blood was drawn four hours after the preliminary breath test and the alcohol had dissipated by then.

South Dakota filed to dismiss the case because the blood test results showed no measurable alcohol in Duszak’ system, the report said.