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Cops: Drunk Bus Driver Left Basketball Team Stranded, Other Motorists at Risk

An allegedly drunken bus driver in St. Louis reportedly left an entire college basketball team stranded – and risked the safety of countless other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The driver was reportedly stopped eventually, several hours after the team lost the game some 40 miles away in St. Bonaventure, New York. bus

The Washington Post reported the players snapped Instagram and Twitter photographs of themselves and teammates, napping, playing cards and talking on their cell phones as they lamented their “missing bus.” Troopers eventually located the driver via a GPS signal from an iPad left by the head coach on the bus. The driver at the time reportedly had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.22 – which is nearly three times the limit for all drivers and more than five times the limit for commercial drivers.

Drivers of commercial vehicles are not permitted to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher. Her employer told the Post the 56-year-old had since been terminated from her job and that the company was “extremely disappointed and troubled” by her alleged actions. 

Authorities don’t think the driver was drunk when she drove the players to the game, but they aren’t sure where she went after that. Another bus took players to retrieve their belongings from the original bus before they were taken to a nearby airport for a return flight to their hometown, arriving at 3 a.m.

Although it’s definitely a good thing the allegedly drunk driver didn’t have a chance to return to the site to drive a bus full of young college students while impaired, she still is alleged to have put other lives at risk with her actions.

A commercial driver who is either drunk or drugged is a serious threat to public safety, as well as major liability to his or her employer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets the regulations when it comes to drug and alcohol use by commercial drivers, which pertains to:

  • Any company or individual that owns or leases commercial vehicles;
  • Anyone who assigns drivers to operate commercial vehicles;
  • Government agencies, including local, state and federal entities;
  • For-hire motor carriers;
  • Private motor carriers;
  • Civic organizations;
  • Schools/ universities;
  • Churches.

In Massachusetts, conviction for driving drunk with a commercial license will result in:

  • First time OUI offense – 1 year loss of commercial driver’s license.
  • Second time OUI offense – lifetime loss of commercial driver’s license.

This often means loss of one’s livelihood. That’s in addition to the normal fines and penalties that can be imposed for any OUI offense. Drunk driving convictions remain on one’s permanent criminal record for life.

However, the real life sentence is often imposed on victims of these actions – those who are severely injured or killed or who have lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents caused by impaired drivers.

Commercial drivers are required to submit to alcohol and drug testing, sometimes randomly and other times on the basis of reasonable suspicion. Under FMCSA rules, a commercial driver’s refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test is the equivalent of pleading guilty to a DUI.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Cops: Drunken bus driver stranded St. Louis basketball team, Feb. 9, 2017, By John Wawrow, Associated Press

More Blog Entries:

Report: Some Massachusetts Bars Served More Drunk Drivers Than Others, Feb. 11, 2017, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog