Celebrity Captain Pleads Guilty in Drinking Case

August 1, 2006
The Celebrity Cruises captain that was arrested in May during a routine Coast Guard check pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to "one count of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol," the Seattle Times reports.

Periklis Petridis, 47, spent four days in a Seattle jail after failing a breathalyzer test onboard the 77,713-ton, 1,870-passenger Mercury. The Coast Guard determined his blood alcohol level to be as high as 0.181, more than four times the federal maritime limit, according to Seattle Times.

Celebrity relieved him of his command in May following his arrest. Though he was off duty when the Coast Guard boarded the ship at 12:30 p.m., the line maintains that he broke company policy, which forbids ship officers from consuming alcohol eight hours before reporting for duty (Petridis was scheduled to be on duty at 5 p.m.).

As part of a plea agreement, the Greek citizen received one year's probation, and may not enter U.S. waters as an employee of any commercial vessel for a full year without prior approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He must also pay a $15,000 fine.