Court Paves Way For Alcohol On US Airways New Mexico Flights

New Mexico – A federal appeals court has reversed a judge's decision that prevented US Airways from serving alcohol on its New Mexico flights.

The state denied US Airways a liquor license after regulators accused the airline of overserving passengers, including one who caused a drunken-driving crash that killed five people.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline challenged the decision but a federal judge in Albuquerque ruled in favor of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department last year.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed that decision, saying the judge failed to balance state and federal interests. The case was sent back to the New Mexico district court.

A spokeswoman for US Airways says the airline is pleased by the ruling.

State officials have not returned messages seeking comment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.