School Bus Driver Intoxicated While Carrying More Than 20 Students

A Leander Independent School District bus driver has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The school bus had anywhere from 22 to 30 students at the time the driver operated the bus while intoxicated.

While carrying the students on the bus, the driver hit a mailbox, damaged trees, and destroyed various other things along the roadway. The driver tore through a portion of some landscaping and left huge tire tracks on person’s property. According to reports, the students were yelling and screaming at the bus driver to stop. After learning that they were in danger, some students were able to get off the bus.

Police were alerted of the situation after they received a call reporting a bus driving erratically and hitting trees. By the time the police arrived and pulled over the bus, the driver had already completed the route and there were children left on the bus. The responding officer administered a field sobriety test. The officer stated that the driver fell down a couple of times and failed six of the eight tests that are indicative of intoxication.

Officials stated that the driver might have been using up to nine medications at the time of the arrest, including Lisinopril, Hydrocodone, and Xanax. The driver’s arrest warrant states that before her arrest, the driver admitted to taking painkillers and antidepressants and mixed the drugs with alcohol. Following the incident, the Leander Independent School District terminated the driver, who had six years of experience. The driver has been charged with a felony DWI and with a misdemeanor for the damage caused to the property.

Fortunately, none of the children were physically injured, but clearly they suffered emotional trauma for the incident. The children on the bus ranged from fifth grade to kindergartners.

Texas DWI law

Under Texas law, a person may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated if the person has a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. Furthermore, as shown with the Leander school bus driver, a person can also be intoxicated and charged with a DWI if the person is impaired due to other drugs, regardless of one’s BAC.

If stopped while driving, you should be prepared to show your driver’s license, car insurance, and vehicle registration. Depending on the circumstances of the stop, if you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver’s license can be automatically suspended for 180 days.

DWI convictions carry progressive punishments, with a first offense resulting in a fine up to $2,000, jail time up to 180 days, and loss of a driver’s license for up to year.

If you have been charged with a DWI, an attorney can help you with your case. Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C. employs an experienced team of attorneys with over 40 years of DWI experience. Our attorneys will be there for you to fight for your rights and to help you with your case.

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