A school bus operator in Alabama, James Chaney, found himself in legal trouble when he was apprehended while driving the bus, with a blood-alcohol concentration of .33. This level exceeded the state’s legal limit by more than four times.
Chaney, aged 46, who also works as a mechanic and occasionally fills in as a substitute bus driver, has lost his job and is currently confronting criminal charges. The incident unfolded on October 17 when a police officer, prompted by a complaint from a concerned parent, encountered Chaney outside Jackson Middle School.
Upon administering a breathalyzer test to Chaney, the suspected intoxicated individual registered a .33, significantly surpassing not only the state’s permissible limit but also exceeding the stringent .02 threshold applicable to commercial vehicle operators and the absolute zero tolerance level mandated when children are on board in Alabama.
As a result of this incident, Chaney faced charges related to driving under the influence and reckless endangerment. Furthermore, he was dismissed from his position by the school district.
“I would be enraged if somebody put my children in that kind of danger, but I mean he could have hurt others too driving a vehicle that big,” Chancey remarked.
Jackson Police Chief Jerry Taylor commented that Chaney had successfully completed the task of discharging all the children along the bus route before encountering the police officer, describing it as a narrowly averted situation.
In a statement released this week, Ashlie Flowers, the Superintendent of Clarke County Schools, addressed district parents, urging them to maintain a watchful stance for comparable violations in the future.
“I want to assure members of the school community that student safety and security is the school system’s highest priority. I, also, encourage you to report any similar issues to law enforcement or the Board of Education in the future.”