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Judge refuses to toss drunk charge against Talon Air pilot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a charge against a charter airline co-pilot accused of being drunk before a flight in northern Michigan.

Judge Robert Holmes Bell in Grand Rapids signed the order Monday in the case against 35-year-old Sean Fitzgerald.

Prosecutors have charged Fitzgerald of Boca Raton, Florida, with trying to fly under the influence of alcohol.

Police have said an Aug. 25 breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.30, nearly four times the legal limit for driving.

Fitzgerald’s attorney had requested that the charge be dismissed, arguing that the plane didn’t leave the Traverse City airport and that his client didn’t operate the aircraft.

Fitzgerald worked for Talon Air and was preparing to fly to Massachusetts when he was ordered from the cockpit.

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