Norwegian purser sentenced to prison for alcohol level in blood: she says she must have drunk in her sleep


The female chef de cabine for Norwegian was randomly tested for alcohol at work onboard a Norwegian aircraft from Trondheim. The Inntrøndelag District Court does not believe her explanation.

The day before taking her job, the defendant celebrated her father’s birthday in Oslo.

The morning after, she worked on the morning flight to Værnes. Before returning to Oslo Gardermoen, the entire crew was picked out for a random test. Two blood tests shortly afterwards showed 0.37 per thousand for the accused.

The Civil Aviation Act states that if one has more than 0.2 per thousand, one is to be considered as affected.

The purser was not uncooperative in the result of the blood test. But she said she felt sure that she did not have an illegal blood alcohol level when she went to work.

During the birthday party, the accused drank half a bottle of wine and ate sushi. She stopped drinking around 15:00. Thus, she should have been within the rule of not drinking alcohol 12 hours before a flight.

She was sure that the alcohol was out of her body when she got up the next morning. She thus denied criminal guilt.

The only explanation the chef de cabine had for the alcohol level was that she must have got up at night and drank rosé wine. In court, she explained that she had fallen asleep a couple of times before. She admitted that she did not feel in top shape when she woke up. She thought it could be due to various health problems and general pressure to go to work.

Inntrøndelag District Court calls her explanation “fabricated” and writes in the judgment:

The court assumes that drinking alcohol in your sleep is not common. Furthermore, one is faced with a relatively “targeted” and concrete action in a sleeping state, where the accused must have got up at night, poured herself wine and drank it in the kitchen/living room (as the court understood it was the wine open from before), and then went to lie down in her bed again.

The police officer who was present during the blow test explained to the court that he noticed that the accused was very stressed before the test. She ate and drank a lot and stood on the outside of the plane so that the police and crew would not see her.

Defendant said she did not want others to see that she had trouble blowing. She also gets nervous when the police are involved, she said.

Inntrøndelag District Court thinks the purser should have considered better whether she was affected the morning she was going to work.

As cabin chief, the defendant was responsible for safety, including the emergency procedures.

Inntrøndelag District Court set the sentence at 36 days in prison.

The accused has worked for Norwegian for many years. Because of this incident, she voluntarily resigned from the company.




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