R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Texas bus driver charged for DWI

A female bus driver in Texas was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Oct. 17. The incident occurred around 4 p.m. at the intersection of South Quinlan Park Road and Merlene Drive in Austin. The arrest happened after a homeowner in Steiner Ranch reported the 61-year-old woman for running over a mailbox, crashing into multiple tree branches and erratic driving. The woman had been employed as a Leander ISD school bus driver for five years.

She was driving 20 to 30 students home when the traffic stop occurred. The River Ridge Elementary students' ages ranged from kindergarten to fifth grade. Another bus arrived at the scene to bring the children the rest of the way home. A parent of one of the children onboard claims that the child called from a cellphone, claiming that the driver was crashing into multiple objects. Dispatchers attempted to reach the driver on her dispatch after receiving the initial complaints, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

A deputy on-scene claims to have witnessed the bus driver stumbling as she exited and re-entered the bus. The police report also alleges that the bus driver was having difficulty concentrating and answering questions. She supposedly lost her footing as she was walking from the grass onto the mulch. She told officers she has consumed a beer the previous evening and her prescription medication earlier that day. She failed the sobriety tests and was arrested for felony suspicion of DWI.

People who are accused of driving while intoxicated may benefit from contacting a criminal defense lawyer before answering investigator's questions. In an effort to discover viable opportunities for exonerating the defendant, legal counsel may investigate the events leading up to the arrest. Otherwise, lawyers may still be effective in negotiating a favorable plea bargain with the prosecutor.

Source: HillCountryNews.com, "Leander ISD bus driver arrested for DWI", Lynette Haaland and Scott W. Coleman, October 20, 2014

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