In a disturbing incident, an Alabama substitute school bus driver was discovered with a blood-alcohol level of .33, exceeding the state’s legal limit by more than four times, post dropping off students.
46-year-old James Chaney, also a mechanic, encountered police outside Jackson Middle School on October 17, following a concerned parent’s complaint, as per WALA-News. Notably, his blood-alcohol reading didn’t just surpass the state’s standard limit, but also greatly exceeded the .02 limit set for commercial drivers and the zero-tolerance policy when children are aboard in Alabama.
Subsequently, Chaney faced charges of driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, and his employment with the school district was terminated.
Parents reacted with disbelief and concern. “It’s truly alarming. You can’t imagine someone risking children’s lives like that,” said one parent. Whitney Chancey, another parent, expressed her fears, remarking, “It’s terrifying. It’s not just about my child but everyone else he could’ve harmed driving such a large vehicle.”
Jackson Police Chief, Jerry Taylor, highlighted the severity of the situation, emphasizing the added responsibility when children are involved. “Driving intoxicated is always a grave offense, but operating a school bus with children while under the influence takes the misconduct to another dimension,” he stated.
Clarke County Schools Superintendent, Ashlie Flowers, addressing the incident, reassured parents of the district’s unwavering commitment to student safety. She further urged the community to be alert and promptly report any such future concerns either to law enforcement or the Board of Education.