WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – An Adams County school bus driver arrested for allegedly driving under the influence over the weekend may have had a troubled past.

Burton Carpenter, 57, appeared before a judge on Monday. He had 37 students and four adults on board his bus when police said he side-swiped another vehicle.

According to Department of Regulatory Agencies documents, Carpenter lost his job as a nurse in April of 2012 after his employer discovered he had been lying about giving drugs to patients. He eventually voluntarily surrendered his registered nurse license and admitted to having a substance use disorder. By then he had already been hired by Adams County 12 as a school bus driver.

“All of our bus drivers and employees are subjected to a background check and are fingerprinted, and all of our bus drivers also undergo random drug and alcohol tests as part of their employment,” Melissa Hoelting with Adams County 12 said.

The history would not have shown up in a criminal background check, but DORA representatives say had the district look into his employment history they would have found his public disciplinary notice.

Students on the bus Carpenter was driving took to social media. One said he’s thankful everyone was safe and even described what the ride was like, telling his friend the bus driver hit a tree and even a car.

Carpenter declined and interview with CBS4. He is scheduled back in court at the end of September.


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