Karen Kawa mugshot

Drunk bus driver almost THREE times over the legal alcohol limit picks up special needs children: Police

An Illinois school bus driver is behind bars after she reportedly operated a bus while intoxicated last Weds. Police say her alcohol level was almost three times over the state’s legal limit.

KRON reports that Karen Kawa, a school bus driver for special needs children, was reportedly so intoxicated while pulling into the Walsh Elementary School parking lot that a special needs assistant noticed her strange behavior and notified the school principal. The principal arrived to the bus and asked Kawa to step off of the bus and hand over the keys just as the children were boarding.

After the principal got the children safely off of the bus, authorities arrived and requested Kawa blow into an alcohol register. After her alcohol level registered at close to three times higher than the legal limit, police arrested the bus driver and charged her with “aggravated DUI while operating a bus.” Authorities reported that Kawa’s blood alcohol level registered at .231.

Chicago Tribune reports that a judge set her bail at $5,000.

Kawa worked as a bus driver for the past 10 years, according to her lawyer. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details becomes available.

[Feature Photo: Karen Kawa/Summit Police Department]