Georgia school bus driver Carole Ann Etheridge, 49, has been charged with DUI and 16 counts of child endangerment
A school bus driver from Georgia has been arrested on DUI and child endangerment charges after police say she was caught driving drunk on the job.
Carole Ann Etheridge, 49, was arrested Monday morning for allegedly operating a Walton County schools bus with 31 middle and high school students on board while under the influence.
Etheridge was taken into custody at Loganville Middle School after taking a field sobriety test.
When officers searched the driver’s purse, they were said to have discovered one large bottle of Margaretville brand silver tequila, four mini bottles of Stolichnaya vodka and four bottles of prescription pills.
Etheridge’s arrest came after a student on the bus noticed that something was not right with the driver and notified a parent, who then contacted the school.
Incriminating evidence: When officers searched Etheridge’s purse, they were said to have discovered one large bottle of tequila, four mini bottles of vodka and prescription pills
Etheridge was arrested Monday at Loganville Middle School in Georgia (pictured)
Ashton Anderson, 16, was among the students on Etheridge’s bus route, and he tells CBS46 he was in fear for his life Monday morning.
‘She’s going 60 to 70mph, from what it seemed like, and she kind of turned into the ditch…and she hit a driveway and we started to wobble,” Anderson told the station.
When the high school student asked Etheridge why she was driving this way, he says she replied, ‘I don’t feel well.’
Etheridge was hired by the Walton County school system in March after passing a background check, less than two months after she was fired from her previous job at Gwinnett County Schools over ‘unsatisfactory performance,’ reported WSB-TV.
Etheridge (left and right) was hired by the Walton County school system in March, less than two months after she was fired from her previous job at Gwinnett County Schools
Mom: Etheridge is a divorced mother-of-two living in Dacula, Georgia
Etheridge, who is a divorced mother-of-two from Dacula, was booked into the Walton County Jail on one count of driving under the influence and 16 counts of endangering a child.
She has since been released after posting $25,762 bond.
A spokesperson for the school district said Etheridge was terminated from her job on Monday.
‘The Walton County School District does not tolerate any behavior that jeopardizes the safety of our students,’ Callen Moore said in a statement. ‘We appreciate the swift action of our Transportation Department and local law enforcement officers to ensure the safety of our students.’