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North Carolina school bus driver arrested on DWI charges

A 63-year-old North Carolina woman was arrested and accused of driving under the influence, and now could lose her job just before reaching retirement age. According to the North Carolina school district that employs the woman, she has been driving school buses for the district for the last 12 years.

On a recent Thursday morning, an assistant principal at a middle school where she drops off children alleged the bus driver's breath smelled like alcohol, which caused the school resource officer to suspect drunk driving.

Due to the woman's breath, the officer had probable cause, which allowed him to request testing. A breathalyzer test allegedly showed that the woman had a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, which is .02 percent over the legal driving limit in North Carolina.

Police are currently investigating the incident to see if any cameras on the bus filmed how far the woman drove and which roads she took during her route. The woman is now on paid leave while the school district completes its own investigation into the matter.

In looking at this case, it is important to remember that just because someone is arrested - and the story appears in the news - it does not mean he or she is actually guilty of the crime.

Even if it appears that a conviction is likely to occur in a North Carolina DUI case, accused individuals may be able to improve their situations through a well-organized criminal defense.

For example, breathalyzer test results are not always deemed to be accurate by the court, and if breath test evidence can be suppressed, it could help an individual achieve a not guilty verdict. In other situations, where a guilty verdict is likely, a plea bargain could be in order to obtain a reduced jail sentence or to lessen the severity of other penalties.

Source: ABC 7, "North Carolina School Bus Driver Arrested For DUI After Dropping Off Students," Nov. 21, 2014

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