US Airways sued New Mexico in 2007 because the state’s Regulation and License Department denied its liquor license application. This came after a passenger killed five people in a crash while driving drunk after getting intoxicated on the flight.
In the suit, US Airways contended that New Mexico can’t control its on-board liquor service, require training for cabin crew about alcohol or enforce any sanctions against the carrier. The airline cited the fact that federal law preempts state law. U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo, though, did not agree, ruling in favor of the state. Under this ruling, US Airways will not be permitted to serve alcohol while flying over New Mexico or while on the ground there.
New Mexico Regulation and License Department Superintendent Kelly O’Donnell calls the decision “a victory, a huge victory, for public safety,” according to the Associated Press. The airline is reviewing the decision.