WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Tests showed the blood alcohol level of a school bus driver who was arrested while driving more than 30 students was close to three times the legal limit.
Police say Burton Carpenter admitted to drinking vodka before he got behind the wheel of a school bus in late September. He then drove the Mountain Range High School freshman football team to a game.
One of the coaches said Carpenter was straddling lanes and had to be directed into the school parking lot, where he collided with a parked truck. Another witness said Carptenter told him he had been drinking vodka in a 32 ounce Gatorade bottle.
A Westminster police officer said Carptenter’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred, and that he was so intoxicated he stumbled down the bus steps and caught himself on the side of the bus.
Burton is charged with 36 counts of child abuse, reckless endangerment and DUI. His blood alcohol level was allegedly .2. He is expected to make a plea in December.
Officials with the Adams 12 School District say they do background checks on all of their bus drivers. Carptenter’s came up clean. CBS4’s search of state records showed he lost his job as a nurse last year because of substance abuse.