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Proposed legislation would target drunk school bus drivers in New York

It's horrifying to think that a school bus driver might be drunk on the job. It's almost beyond belief. Yet, a school bus driver on Long Island was recently charged with a DUI after his school bus crashed right into someone's home, and a blood test revealed he was indeed intoxicated.

The police said it was "a miracle" that none of the five children on the bus at the time, who were between five and nine years old, were hurt.

And this was not an isolated incident. Less than a week later, another school bus driver was arrested for driving under the influence. Here, drivers on the Long Island Expressway call 911 to report a school bus driver weaving between lanes with a shredded tire.

After pulling the driver over, police found a bottle of vodka inside the bus. According to the DA, the driver's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. He had just finished dropping off his passengers, middle-school students.

In response to these incidents, state legislators want to pass a law that would require ignition interlock devices to be installed in school buses. This means that all school bus drivers would have to blow into the device and get a clean reading before they would be able to start the bus.

The proposed law would require that the ignition interlock devices be installed on all school buses manufactured after July 1, 2013. School districts would also have the option of requiring the device to be installed on all school buses already in use.

"To have a bus driver blow into this device is so simple to tell every parent and every child that's on that bus that that bus driver isn't drunk and you're going to be safe," said Sen. Charles Fuschillo, (R-Merrick), one of the sponsors of the legislation.

It remains to be seen if this legislation will gain momentum in Albany. Stay tuned for updates from our New York traffic law blog ...

A DWI/DUI arrest can have a serious impact on your life in a number of ways and result in various penalties. In fact, many of these penalties are much more serious than the mere license suspension or revocation.

When faced with this scenario, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Syosset Patch, "Rice, Fuschillo take on drunken bus driving," Heather Doyle, Oct. 18, 2012

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