Police: Bus driver was drunk with student on board

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Delaware County school bus driver was arrested after she was found to be operating her bus with a blood alcohol level that was more than 18 times over the legal limit.

Christine Rogers, 48, of Brookhaven, is charged with driving under the influence. Police say she had a blood alcohol level of .374.

The legal limit is .08 percent for most drivers, however a school bus driver is legally considered to be over the limit if their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is over .02.

Rogers drove for the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, but officials say Rogers was immediately fired.

The incident came to light after a motorist, Cesar Martinez, noticed the school bus being driven erratically on the Blue Route near Route 3 on Monday afternoon.

Martinez called 911 and then followed the bus into a Swarthmore neighbhood where Rogers damaged a street sign along with bushes and small trees.

The district says a 16-year-old boy was the sole student on the bus. He was not hurt.

Police say when they pulled Rogers over, they detected a strong odor of alcohol. Rogers then failed several field-sobriety tests.

Inside the bus, police say they found a full size bottle of vodka in a purse near the driver's seat, as well as a water bottle filled with vodka.

Rogers has been a bus driver for the school district for 10 years.

District officials say they do perform random testing and Rogers had never tested positive before.

School superintendent Rudolph Rubeis declined an on camera interview, but told Action News, "The incident is bizarre. I have apologized to the parent of the child involved."

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