A bus driver in Smithfield Township is in custody after her arrest for allegedly picking up school children while intoxicated. Pennsylvania State Police apprehended the woman after witnesses called authorities when she was seen behaving erratically. She was arrested and processed, but has since been released on bail. She faces one count of drunk driving, as well as dozens of other charges pertaining to reckless endangerment.
According to the report, the driver was witnessed staggering upon exiting the bus at a local elementary school, where she was supposed to be picking up students at the end of their school day. The resource officer at the school said the bus had been moving erratically before arriving at the school, and took the driver to the nurse’s office upon her arrival. A field sobriety test was conducted, which the driver allegedly failed.
The driver said she had consumed “a couple” of vodka beverages around 10 a.m. before leaving to drop off some 21 students at a high school. When Pennsylvania State Police arrived, they took her to a local hospital for a blood test. She was charged with one count of DUI as well as 21 counts each of reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of children. She also faces counts of reckless and careless driving. She has been placed on unpaid leave while the investigation is underway.
If she is found guilty, she could lose not only her driver’s license and her livelihood, but also her freedom. Pennsylvania authorities take drunk driving charges very seriously. However, it will be up to prosecutors to prove the validity of the field sobriety test conducted by the school resource officer and nurse. As these individuals are not law enforcement officers, her criminal defense team may choose to focus carefully on the conduct and process of this and any other tests in connection with her arrest.