The man accused of driving a San Diego International Airport jet fuel tanker while intoxicated has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.
James Stewart, 56, was appointed counsel and arraigned Friday on a DUI charge after his arrest on April 16. According to Harbor Police, Stewart had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit to drive, when he arrived to work that day.
In court Friday, Stewart swore he did not own a vehicle and would not drive. He was also ordered to attend five Alcoholic Anonymous classes before his next court date scheduled for June 12, according to a spokesman for the city attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the DUI charge.
“He was there to fuel an aircraft, and that’s when he had gotten out of the vehicle, and he was walking around, and that’s when the ground service workers thought there was something wrong with him,” Harbor Police Lt. John Forsythe said.
Officers noted Stewart had bloodshot, watery eyes, smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and staggered, according to an arrest record. The report details how employees alerted police to come to the tarmac near the Delta airline gate after Stewart got out of the fuel truck and was seen swaying and staggering.
He was taken into custody shortly after.
A Harbor Police official said the danger of operating the highly-flammable jet fuel tankers while intoxicated is obvious.
Stewart’s jury trial is scheduled for July 2.
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