Julianne March, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, was arrested Aug. 2 after United Flight 4849 landed and charged with public intoxication, according to a St Joseph County Superior Court lawsuit filed Thursday.
The indictment filed by Eric Tamashasky, the attorney general's attorney, said the March's intoxication during the flight "jeopardized another person's life, to say: the passengers on the run."
Mars was also fired by Air Wisconsin, which operates as a regional airline for United and United Express.
"The flight attendant involved in this incident is no longer employed by Air Wisconsin," the company said in a written statement. "We will continue to work with local authorities and assist them as needed."
CNN reached out in March for comment, but has not heard back. March is due back in court Aug. 29, according to McBrier.
Passenger Aaron Scherb told CNN that he was aboard the flight and saw March "kind of leaning against the gun." He said she had no eye contact with passengers.
Scherb said that March's behavior seemed strange to him. He said she started to make the security message, but stopped seconds later without finishing.
"The pilots called the flight attendant over the internal telephone before taking off to get the" clear "/ cabin safe message from her, but it took several audible rings before picking up the phone," Scherb said.
He said from the moment they taxied out to the runway, March sat down and "looked to pass / fall asleep for almost the entire flight." He said that once they were in the air, a female passenger noticed that March was not tightened with the seat belt, so she helped strap her in.
Scherb said that March did not rise during the duration of the 25-minute flight.
When they landed at South Bend International Airport, some passengers told the airport's officers and flight crew that they felt scared for their lives because of March's apparent condition, court records show.
Passengers speculated that she was either intoxicated, had a medical problem, or had suffered a stroke, according to court documents.
Mars was arrested and taken to St. Joseph County Jail, according to airport loggers.
Court documents say that while she was being transported to prison, March told an officer that she had about two vodka shooters before she went to work that morning. These documents show a portable breath test at the prison resulted in a blood alcohol concentration reading of .204.
The FAA BAC limit for all aviation safety-sensitive positions, a category that includes flight attendants, is .04
Mars was charged with a count of public intoxication, a Class B misdemeanor, with a sentencing range of up to 1
Scherb said a United States representative called him late that afternoon and offered him a $ 500 or $ 25,000 coupon, which he has not yet accepted, in addition to reimbursement for that segment of the trip. United declined to comment.
"Please contact Air Wisconsin for their statement about their flight attendant. You may already know that this was not a United flight attendant or crew," United said in a statement to CNN.
Given the significant safety and security roles of flight attendants, Scherb said that airlines should consider introducing zero tolerance for flight attendants.
"While breathing apparatus is hopefully not needed in aircraft, given the recent incidents of alcohol with pilots and flight attendants, it may be something the airlines have to decide on," he said.
Regarding zero tolerance, Air Wisconsin said, "We hold all our employees to the highest standards and have a strict, no alcohol tolerance policy."