Drunk driving situations can lead to a number of standard possible penalties across the state. However, if the driver is in a commercial vehicle, those penalties can increase and the criteria for drunk driving charges are different, such as a lower legal limit for blood alcohol content. Likewise, if there are minors in the vehicle, those penalties can also be harsher and may accompany additional charges. Recently in Tennessee, a bus driver was accused of driving a bus full of high school students while under the influence of alcohol. The driver now faces DUI charges in addition to other charges.
The incident unfolded as the 56-year-old bus drove was taking high school football players to a championship game. Once he got to the destination, a police officer stopped the bus and said there was an odor of alcohol coming from the bus driver. He reportedly failed a field sobriety test. In addition, there was an open container on the bus.
The driver has been charged with DUI. He was also charged for the possession of alcohol on the bus, and he faces charges of reckless endangerment. The bus in question was also inspected and found to have defective tires.
In a case such as this, the Tennessee driver may be facing consequences that include high fines, loss of a driver's license, possible jail time and negative consequences as far as his employment is concerned. DUI charges in Tennessee often rely on evidence, such as field sobriety tests, blood tests and any evidence of alcohol at the scene. Despite the presence of this evidence or the results of a subjective field sobriety test, anyone charged may benefit from comprehensive legal counsel who can explain the possible penalties, defense strategies and the process in general so a defendant can be as prepared as possible.
Source: fox17.com, "Bus Driver arrested for DUI while transporting Students", Kells Johnson, Dec. 5, 2015