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Delta Flight Attendant Fined $720 After Showing up to Work Intoxicated

Delta Flight Attendant Fined $720 After Showing up to Work Intoxicated
Jackie Reddy

A Delta Air Lines crew member was given a fine for showing up intoxicated prior to her shift. It was reported in court proceedings in London on Thursday that Lemara Thompson was almost seven times over the legal limit. Delta confirmed the incident and said that it treats these matters as “serious”.

A Delta Air Lines crew member has been fined for showing up on duty well over the threshold of the legal aviation alcohol limit, The Daily Mail reports. According to the outlet, Lemara Thompson reported for work on June 16th, but it was noted by authorities at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) that she had been drinking.

Almost Seven Times the Legal Limit

In court proceedings in London on Thursday, it was heard that Thompson had failed initial breathalyzer tests and was subsequently found to have a blood alcohol level of 135mg per 100ml of blood. As the outlet reports, the court was informed that, “The legal limit for performing an aviation duty is 20mg, compared with 80mg for driving.”

This limit is enforced for pilots and cabin crew as well as for air traffic control staff.

Explaining the incident to the court, prosecutor Shann Sethi said, “Officers were called to a control post at Heathrow Airport to reports that the defendant, who is a member of Delta Air Lines cabin crew, had passed through a security arch smelling of alcohol. She failed a preliminary breath test. A blood sample was taken and toxicology reports showed that she had 135mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.”

“She was almost seven times over the limit,” Sethi added.

An Error in Judgment

Speaking for the defense, Dan Martin, Thompson’s legal counsel, explained that the Brooklyn resident had been drinking the night before her shift, a move that he called “unusual” for his client.

“The defendant made, in her own words, a horrible mistake – she jeopardized everything she had worked so hard to achieve in life. She is extremely remorseful. This wasn’t a case of her having drunk prior to the flight, she was drinking the night before, which is unusual for her,” he explained.

Martin added, “She made a great error of judgment in attending work the next day.”

The court heard that Thompson had gone through the disciplinary process with Delta and had been permitted to carry on in her role, with a caveat that she submit to testing.

Fines and Punishment

On Thursday, Thompson was given a fine of £548 ($720) and asked to pay a additional £85 ($117) in costs.

Commenting about the incident to the outlet, a spokesperson for Delta said that it had, “cooperated with law enforcement in its investigation into a crew member who was removed from a flight prior to departure.”

“We treat all reported allegations in contrast with our strict employee alcohol policy as serious,” the spokesperson added.

View Comments (4)


  1. aero0729

    December 10, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Extremely dishonest to post this stuff. You can cause people trouble and it is against the rules. I have come to respect travel points bloggers so little. You should be ashamed of this article. Who writes this stuff?

  2. Boggie Dog

    December 11, 2019 at 7:10 am

    @aero729: What in the article is dishonest? Did the event as described happen?

  3. mvoight

    December 11, 2019 at 9:52 am

    She had a BAC of .135 %
    What time did she claim to have had her last drink?
    If she had .135 % at the time of testing (.08 is the limit for driving in most US states), then I doubt her drinking stopped the night before.

  4. riced

    December 13, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Why wasn’t she fired? The union maybe???

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