Law enforcement officers take all alleged drunk driving seriously. However, when someone is behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle and/or transporting multiple people, the stakes are even higher.
Earlier this month, West Greenwich police arrested a 52-year-old Westerly woman driving a school bus on DUI charges. Her blood alcohol level was reportedly nearly twice the legal limit.
There were no students on the bus when the woman was arrested. The track coach at Weatherly High School had reportedly persuaded her to pull over and let the 18 members of the track team off the bus who were returning from a meet.
The school's principal praised his coach for his "decisive decision-making" to protect his team. It was not reported why the woman was allowed to continue driving, however.
The driver came to the attention of police when an employee of Cumberland Farms called Coventry police to report that an intoxicated woman had left his store and driven off in a school bus. When police located her, she was allegedly straddling two lanes, driving just 15 miles per hour. They say that they signaled for her to pull over for approximately a quarter of a mile before she complied.
Police say that the woman failed all of the sobriety tests, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. They also say that there were several small bottles of alcohol (some empty) near the driver's seat of the bus.
The driver, who has since resigned her position, will be in court on Jan. 4 to face charges. For people in many lines of work, such as those who drive for a living, a DUI conviction can mean not just serious consequences for your life, but the end of a career. Some people would benefit more from rehabilitation than jail time. An experienced Connecticut defense attorney can discuss your options with you given the circumstances of your case and provide guidance.
Source: The Day, "Police: Woman driving Westerly school bus was drunk," Dec. 16, 2016