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An Illinois school bus driver was arrested last week for allegedly driving under the influence. The arrest came after he crashed a bus with middle school children on it.
36-year-old Ryan Vanheirseele was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, child endangerment and for good measure, and one count of improper traffic lane usage.
Vanheirseele reportedly made a turn, ended up on a curb, and crashed his bus into a brick mailbox. Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney, Kelse Banks, said there were seven middle school children on the bus at the time.
No one was hurt in the crash and a different bus picked the kids up and finished their ride home.
Banks said that Vanheirseele denied that he had been drinking. She added that he told arriving officers that he “blacked out” during the crash.
The field sobriety tests told a different story. In addition to failing the field sobriety tests, officers found what they suspect are alcoholic beverages in the driver’s backpack along with a cup of lemonade that smelled like alcohol.
After failing the field sobriety tests, Vanheirseele was arrested. He then submitted to a breathalyzer where he blew a 0.134.
He Was Slightly Above Zero
The state of Illinois has zero-tolerance laws for commercial vehicle drivers. That means drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their blood at all.
Vanheirseele was released on a $40,000 bond. He has been suspended by the school district while an internal investigation is conducted.
If all the allegations against the bus driver are true then it sounds like it should be an extremely short investigation. It’s almost as if this guy had a checklist of things to do in order to get fired.
One would think drinking and driving then crashing a bus with kids on it would be a fireable offense, even in a world with diminished consequences.