School Bus Driver Accused of DUI After Taking 67 Kids on Scary Ride (VIDEO)

Lycia MartinezIn what I can only imagine was a hair-raising and terrifying bus ride, Utah school bus driver Lycia Martinez, 39, was arrested on suspicion of DUI Monday. A video captured by an onlooker shows the bus weaving and crossing lanes. The view from inside must have been even more horrifying.

A parent on the bus called 911. "She can't stay in the lanes, she's crossing the double lines, and the adults are getting scared," said the caller. "We have a long ways to go with this lady, and we are not feeling secure."

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Later the caller said, "Oh my hell. ... I don't get scared very easily, but my heart is pounding." It's easy to see why.

Somehow -- fortunately -- no one was hurt. The students, fifth and sixth graders on their way to a student council conference at Brigham Young University, were apparently unaware of the danger they were in. After Martinez failed a field sobriety test, a new driver was brought in and took the students the rest of the way.

What caused Martinez's erratic behavior isn't clear at this time, though she did have anti-anxiety and blood pressure medications in her purse, according to police. Whether or not the school district knew about her prescription is not known.

There have been a number of other cases where school bus drivers have been found to be drunk or under the influence of drugs while driving children to school, and they're more than a bit concerning no matter why they occur.  It's terrifying to think you could put your children on the bus to go to school or on a field trip and have the very person you trust to get them there safely, not in any shape to drive.

I appreciate the work these drivers do every day, and there are many good ones who deliver thousands of children safely every day. But cases like this do remind us that there are exceptions, and that revisiting school policies about random drug testing of drivers and other precautions may be warranted.

Do you feel like your children are safe on their school bus?


Image via Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

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