New York State Senate Committee on Transportation Holds Hearing on School Bus Ignition Interlocking Device Legislation

It is hard to imagine a school bus driver showing up to work drunk. It is even harder to imagine four school bus drivers violating DWI laws while on the job over just several months. As hard as it may be to imagine, New York has recently had a slew of high-publicized incidents in which school bus drivers on the job were hit with DWI charges after driving while drunk.

According to New York CBS Local, Long Island saw four school bus drivers violate DWI laws in recent months. In one incident, a school bus driver drove into a house while on route. At the time, five children were riding the bus. School Transportation News Online reports that other DWI incidents involving school bus drivers were reported across New York State.

To counter the recent issue parents, children, and the public in general face with school bus drivers who drive under the influence on the job, New York lawmakers pushed to strengthen transportation laws. The School Transportation News Online report notes that New York State legislators introduced three bills this legislative session that would require ignition interlock devices on every school bus. The proposed legislation would require every school bus driver, regardless of whether he or she has a clean record, and regardless of the number of children on his or her route, to blow into the device before every route. Additionally, the devices would require bus drivers to submit samples while busses are still running.

The Senate Committee on Transportation held a hearing for the legislation on Thursday. The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) and the New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) testified before the committee, predominantly expressing their reservations about the bills. The organizations cited the overwhelming cost of the proposed measure, as well as the possibility for less invasive, more effective procedures. The organizations noted that the proposed legislation would cost about $800 per school bus in the first year, amounting to $4 million to bring all New York school buses into compliance with the proposed legislation. Members also expressed that the ignition interlock devices could present a dangerous distraction to drivers, and that they would overall expose children to an uncomfortable situation, and subject drivers to humiliation.

The organizations proposed heightened background checks and drug testing as part of their plan to decrease the hazard of school bus drivers driving drunk. Under the current law, only drivers who drive more than 14 children on their routes are subjected to random drug testing.

The fate of the school bus ignition interlock legislation is still unknown. It is, however, important to stay updated on current DWI laws in your state. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Call the experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at (877) 435-7394 for a confidential consultation.

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 269 W. Jefferson St.; Syracuse, New York 13202; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.

2015-05-18T18:40:43+00:00