Georgia police have arrested a bus driver after she allegedly hauled 31 schoolchildren around while under the influence of alcohol and pills, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After dropping off high school students, Carole Ann Etheridge was allegedly pulled over Monday morning while transporting middle schoolers. WSB reported that one of the students on board texted their mother about Etheridge’s reckless driving. The mother is said to have then contacted police.
“The school resource officers made contact with her and performed a series of field sobriety tests in which we determined she was, in fact, impaired,” Walton County Sheriff Chief Deputy Keith Brooks revealed to the station.
While being booked into jail, Deputy Brooks revealed they recovered a half empty bottle of tequila, four small bottles of vodka, and four bottles of prescription pills in the bus driver’s purse.
Walton County School District spokesperson Callen Moore told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Georgia woman endangered the lives of 31 children—16 younger than 14.
Etheridge was charged with DUI and 16 counts of endangering a child. The school district claimed they immediately fired her following her arrest.
“This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the school district. Any behavior that jeopardizes the safety of our students is not tolerated,” Moore commented.
Melanie Whitaker, a mother of three children who supposedly rode on Etheridge’s bus, posted on Facebook and claimed the woman’s erratic driving was an ongoing issue.
“I actually called the school twice since the beginning of the school year because of her erratic driving,” she wrote. “Thank God she was caught and arrested!!”
Etheridge had been employed by the Walton County School District since March. In January, the Gwinnett County School District terminated her after seven years of employment for “unsatisfactory performance,” according to reports.
Spokesperson Moore told WXIA that she wasn’t aware of any complaints filed against Etheridge and that she was hired after passing a background check.
The bus driver was reportedly released on a $25,762 bond.
[Featured Image: Walton County Sheriff’s Office]