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School Bus DUI Incident Underscores Bus Safety Challenges

A school bus driver who was caught driving under the influence in another state underscores to Atlanta bus accident lawyers the challenges involved in keeping children safe on school buses. Importantly, school districts must be extremely diligent in hiring bus qualified drivers or they risk serious injuries to children and claims for negligent hiring and retention. A New Jersey school bus driver was arrested on charges of driving under the influence. That on its own may not have been a media- worthy event, except for the fact that it was the children on the school bus who called and informed their parents about the driver’s intoxicated behavior.

Parents received calls from their children on the bus, who noted that their driver was driving erratically and was dozing off at the wheel. The frantic parents called the school, and school authorities got in touch with the police. The driver, Carole Crockett was later arrested. She has been charged with DUI with a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, disorderly conduct and a number of other charges.

Police conducted breath tests, and found that Crockett registered at a startling .25% on the test. She is a commercial bus driver, and therefore, her maximum allowed BAC level is .04%, compared to the .08% that is allowed for other motorists. On a side note, this is one instance where Atlanta car accident lawyersare really glad that the children on the school bus happened to have their cell phones with them and used them. With a BAC concentration of .25%, it’s highly likely that this driver would have caused an accident.

There are lessons from this incident for schools and bus drivers in the state of Georgia too. When parents drop children off at a bus stop, they don’t expect to entrust their child to a person who is too intoxicated to see straight. School districts, boards and schools must take their responsibility to higher competent drivers for their buses very seriously. There is a significant risk of accidents and personal injury when a commercial bus or truck driver is driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. This is the reason why there are stricter blood-alcohol limit rules for commercial drivers.

Alcohol use can affect a motorist’s ability to make sound driving decisions, and his or her judgment abilities. It also encourages reckless driving practices, like speeding, tailgating and veering in between lanes. Additionally, alcohol affects a driver’s hand-eye coordination and gross motor abilities. A person driving under the influence of alcohol is likely to shed his inhibitions, and break traffic laws. He’s also more likely to miss traffic signs, and put himself and people in his vehicle in dangerous situations. Additionally, drunk driving is often linked to drowsy driving.

Intoxicated driving is dangerous enough when it is motorists driving under the influence of alcohol, but when commercial truck and bus drivers do so, the consequences for the driver and other people in the vicinity can be devastating.

The Atlanta bus accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of bus accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.