DENVER (CBS4)– Bus drivers working for school districts are required to undergo testing for alcohol and drugs. But this week, one school bus driver crashed the bus she was driving and admitted to taking prescription drugs.

Several students were on board the bus that Elizabeth Burris was driving when she crashed on Monday.

Police said Burris lost control on Highway 7 about eight miles outside of Lyons on Monday night. The bus hit a mountainside and rolled over.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We were coming around the corner and it tips one way and it tips the other way and then it just completely goes on the side,” said student Tyler Fillweber.

According to court documents, Burris, 39, told police she was on six different prescription medications. The investigator stated that Burris appeared to be drug impaired and did not perform voluntary roadside maneuvers as instructed.

The Colorado Department of Education says most school districts, including St. Vrain where Burris has worked for nearly two years, follow federal regulation when it comes to testing for different substances.

“When you have a commercial driver’s license there is a requirement that there is the drug and alcohol testing pool,” said Colorado Department of Education Jennifer Okes.

Elizabeth Burris (credit: CBS)

Elizabeth Burris (credit: CBS)

The Federal Highway Administration requires 25 percent of drivers in every school district to be randomly tested for alcohol every year. That number jumps to 50 percent when it comes to random drug testing.

Districts can also implement additional screening.

“The school transportation officials across the state that I have worked with are very dedicated, they are very passionate about kids and their safety,” said Okes.

Burris is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 28.


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