Fri, Jun 26, 2009
Pilot's Blood Alcohol Level Was Nearly Three Times The Legal
It's just as basic as this, folks. It doesn't matter what you
fly, booze and aircraft are a potentially deadly combination. That
very fundamental rule was made painfully obvious when Jonathan
Kurilla crashed his ultralight aircraft into Gull Lake near
Brainerd, Minnesota. A post-crash test found Kurilla's blood
alcohol level was .223, nearly three times the legal limit of .08.
He now faces 8 criminal counts connected with the incident.
The Brainard Dispatch reports that
Kurilla was flying the ultralight early in the evening when it
crashed into the lake. His passenger, Estelle Paulson, was treated
and released at a nearby hospital. Authorities were attempting to
contact her to determine the true extent of her injuries. If they
are more severe than originally reported, Kurilla could face
The criminal report filed against
Kurilla and re-printed in the paper says that officers asked
Kurilla about the incident, and he said he owned and had been
flying the ultralight at the time of the crash. Officers noticed a
strong odor of alcohol, and asked Kurilla if he had been drinking.
He indicated he had gotten an alcoholic beverage after crashing the
plane, but that it was the only thing he'd had to drink all
Officers administered a field sobriety test, which led to a
subsequent breathalyzer test and blood draw to test for alcohol.
That is when they discovered the .223 blood alcohol level.
Kurilla has 6 prior DWI incidents on his driving record. We all
know they teach us that "8 hours from bottle to throttle" lesson
for a reason.
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