By Monica Ruechel
As a DUI school, we always try and keep up with the newsworthy DUI stories in our area. Recently, a story crossed our paths that not only made the local news, but made the NATIONAL news as well!
This story is so big, it’s the size of a school bus. Actually, it involves a school bus. On Monday, police pulled over a school bus driver in Walton County near Loganville Middle School for driving erratically. The police removed her from the school bus and administered the field sobriety test, which she failed immediately and went straight to the Walton County Jail. During her booking, they recovered half of a bottle of tequila, four mini bottles of vodka, and four bottles of prescription pills in her purse. She posted her $25,762 bail only a few hours later, and left the jail. She Walton County School District fired her immediately afterwards.
The city is charging her with a DUI (obviously) as well as 16 counts of child endangerment. 31 children were present on bus, but only 16 of them were under the age of 14. The bus driver has no priors, but was fired from the Gwinnett County school district just months before for “unsatisfactory performance” on the job.
Not only did she lose her job, she will have to pay a RIDICULOUS amount of money. Since this is her first DUI, under the new ignition interlock laws, she will need an ignition interlock device installed in her car. This constitutes a $100 installation and removal fee as well as monthly calibration/maintenance fees. She will pay $25 to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to have her license reinstated. A decent lawyer will require a $3000 retainer fee. She will have court fines. She will be required to take the $355 risk reduction class, offered at 1 ACT Driving Schools. Her required clinical evaluation will cost at least $110. Don't forget the bail money that she posted!
This woman definitely ruined her career as a bus driver, and her finances. The moral of the story is simple: don’t drink and drive, ESPECIALLY not when you’re driving a school bus with 31 children as your passengers.
For the original story, click here.