A Vermont school bus driver was recently arrested and charged with a DUI after school officials noticed the driver smelled of alcohol. Carl Lupton has been charged with a DUI and child cruelty after allegedly driving a school bus full of students while impaired by alcohol. According to reports, a teacher noticed that Lupton’s breath smelled of alcohol when he entered the school on the morning of March 24. That teacher filed a report with police and immediately notified the school’s superintendent. Butler’s Bus Service, the bus company hired by the school district, was also notified.
The bus company promptly fired Lupton after a breathalyzer test was administered. That test revealed that Lupton’s BAC was 0.04% while he was driving the bus. Lupton claimed that the alcohol in his system was consumed the night before, and believed that after a full night he would no longer be impaired. He has pled not guilty to both charges. If convicted of the DUI and child cruelty charges, Lupton could face up to four (4) years in state prison.
This is not the first time Lupton has been arrested for a DUI. In fact, he had been arrested five (5) times for DUI prior to the March 24 incident, and one arrest resulted in a conviction. Butler’s Bus Service was aware of the previous conviction, but in light of what happened the company is reviewing its hiring practices.
Like every other state, Vermont’s legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08%. This means that a driver with a BAC level of 0.08% or more is legally considered intoxicated and can be arrested and charged for drunk driving. However, under Vermont state law, it is illegal for bus drivers to operate buses with a BAC of 0.02% or more. This is typical for many states. Often state laws lower the legal limit for commercial drivers. In this case, Lupton could be charged even though his BAC was not at 0.08%.
A similar case was recently reported out of Houston, TX. Nathan Manuel was recently arrested and charged with a DWI while operating a school bus. Manuel was allegedly driving under the influence of a drug while operating the bus. Police claim that Manuel’s impairment caused an accident when he struck several signs and a parked vehicle. Officers pulled the bus over after the accident, and found Manuel was displaying signs of impairment. Manuel was promptly arrested. A breathalyzer test revealed a 0.00% BAC. Prosecutors believe that he was under the influence of a depressant at the time, based on a report from a drug recognition expert and police observations at the time of the arrest.
Though the four (4) Zoe Learning Academy students on board were not injured in the accident, the endangerment to the children angered parents. Reaching Out 2 Youth Transportation Services, the bus company hired by the school, has since fired Manuel. Following reports that Manual had been driving on a suspended license, Reaching Out 2 Youth is now investigating the incident. The company has stated that they do not permit drivers with suspended licenses to operate their buses.
DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.