Alcohol or Drugs - Passengers
602.04(3) No operator of an aircraft shall provide or serve any intoxicating liquor to a person on board the aircraft, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person's faculties are impaired by alcohol or a drug to an extent that may present a hazard to the aircraft or to persons on board the aircraft.
That's the boring stuff. It says that we can't let passengers drink on board if they get loaded enough to be a hazard to themselves or other people on board. That's just common sense.
But what about this - what if a passenger gets loaded on our bar stock and then we arrive at our destination and the passenger has a car? I'm pretty sure I can be held liable, so what are some techniques I can use to defuse this situation?
The layout of our jet is such that our passengers can access food and drinks without any supervision, so we really have no idea who drank what.
Why am I asking this? Well, a couple of weeks ago we did a charter somewhere, taking some banking-type people for a meeting in the morning. A guy on board asked for some Crown Royal whiskey, so we picked up some during the day for the return leg. On the return leg, the flight was about 90 minutes. There were a half-dozen people on board, and after about an hour the volume of conversation and laughter in the back increased significantly.
When we landed, we were greeted by 2 female customs officers. I stood outside the plane while they went in to talk to the pax. I don't know what the passengers were saying to the ladies, but one of the customs officers said "Wow, good thing I grew up with 4 brothers", so I'm sure it was rowdy.
Customs departed, and the passengers stepped out, heading for the FBO. I knew that there was transportation arranged, so I didn't sweat their drunken state. We went back to the plane to clean up, and discovered that between the 6 of them, they had drank an entire 26oz (750ml) bottle of whiskey, 6 beers and about 15 small 'airline'-style liquor bottles. No big deal there either; we factor booze into the cost of our charters, and we have a flushing potty in the back (which they used enthusiastically).
Kitsch and I were discussing the devastation of the interior of our beloved jet, and I said "Yeah, well at least they had limosines to take them home. Right?" Kitsch looked at me in a way that suggested further investigation might be necessary, so I checked the tripsheet.
1 car had been arranged. I can only assume they all took it, but I'd rather not go through that situation again, nor have to make that assumption.
Am I liable if a drunk pax decides to drive home after we land? (likely)
Does this happen to other charter operators? (likely)
What do they do about it? I don't want to get sued and end up having my wages garnished to pay some huge judgement because I let a millionaire drink himself over 0.08 and then wrap his BMW around a lamppost on the way home.