School bus drivers take their jobs seriously and understand the important nature of transporting children. They will not do anything to endanger these students, but sometimes they face serious accusations that they violated traffic laws, including laws regarding operating under the influence.
School bus driver accused of OUI
A school bus driver in Pembroke, age 53, was arrested and charged with OUI and violating open container laws. She faces other criminal charges as well due to the alleged incident.
The bus driver was employed in this occupation for over 20 years.
The bus driver was transporting approximately 40 students home from a basketball closing ceremony when the incident reportedly occurred.
The arrest began with a 911 call stating the bus driver was driving erratically on Route 3. Police pulled the bus over in a restaurant parking lot.
Police administered several sobriety tests before placing the driver under arrest. They also said they found a half-empty water bottle inside the bus that allegedly contained alcohol.
Massachusetts OUI laws
Massachusetts blood alcohol content laws differ for drivers of commercial vehicles compared to other drivers.
The general public cannot operate a motor vehicle with a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. Operators of commercial motor vehicles cannot drive with a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.04%.
However, school bus drivers cannot drive a bus with a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.02%.
School bus drivers hold a CDL license, and as such are subjected to enhanced penalties if convicted of OUI.
CDL license holders convicted of a first offense OUI will lose their license for a minimum of 12 months. CDL license holders convicted of a second offense OUI will lose their license for life. Either of these consequences could easily cost a person their job driving a commercial vehicle.
School bus drivers in Massachusetts are held to a higher standard of care compared to other drivers and thus are subjected to stricter OUI laws.
A school bus driver accused of OUI should understand the serious nature of such charges and work to develop a defense strategy that protects their rights.