DENVER (CBS4) – A man has pleaded guilty to driving a Regional Transportation District bus while he was drunk.

Former driver Darren Pettee, 49, Monday morning pleaded guilty to one felony count of endangering public transportation and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, third offense.

Darren Pettee outside of court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Darren Pettee outside of court on Monday (credit: CBS)

Pettee had been a contract driver for RTD for less than two months when he was arrested on Sept. 1.

A passenger reported that Pettee had been driving recklessly and had run a stop sign. A supervisor met with Pettee on his route near 9th Avenue and Clermont Street. After apparently smelling alcohol on Pettee’s breath, the supervisor pulled him from his route.

Court documents state that Pettee’s blood alcohol content level was nearly three times the legal limit.

Pettee had allegedly told authorities he had consumed a half-gallon of vodka the day before. He was halfway through his shift when the supervisor pulled him from the route.

An RTD spokesman has said Pettee cleared a pre-trip checklist before he drove that day.

Darren Pettee (credit: Adams County Sheriff's Office)

Darren Pettee (credit: Adams County Sheriff’s Office)

Pettee had been convicted of driving while ability impaired in the 1980s and early 1990s, but RTD’s background checks go back 15 years.

Pettee’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 26. It’s likely prosecutors will recommend a one-year sentence in the Denver County Jail as well as two years probation.

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