Bossier Bus Driver Guilty of Drunk Driving

A bus driver from Bossier Parish Schools was discovered to be drunk driving after a random drug test and was detained on the morning of May 9.

The suspect is Bridge Whitley, a 33 year-old resident of Seven Pines Road in Benton. She now faces a DWI 2nd offense charge and was booked the same day as relayed by the Bossier Sheriff’s office to the KSLA-TV (see more). A bail bond amount of $50,000 was set in Whitley’s case during her arraignment.

Before her arrest, police officers reported that Whitley was able to drive her school bus on her usual route early on Monday morning. Fortunately, all students made it safely to their respective schools.

After her usual driving routine she arrived at a local testing site for a random drug screening. Upon the results of the test, traces of impairment were found, subjecting her for a further investigation. Police allege that the bus driver performed poorly on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) they conducted upon her.

What is a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST)?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversaw the creation and development of what is known today as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST). This test, which started in the 1970’s, actually consists of a battery of three tests conducted during a traffic or road stop to gauge if a driver is impaired or not. It consists of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand.. These tests have undergone extensive scientific study and are used as evidence of impairment or drunk driving in courts across the country.

HGN and drunk driving explained

HGN is an unintentional movement of the eyes that happens as the eyes move to the side. When a person is drunk, nystagmus is obviously seen depending on the level of the impairment. The walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand tests are a series instructions gauging the ability of the person to listen well and follow what is being asked while doing simple physical movements. If one is impaired, such tests are often difficult to pass, and thus can be good indicators of a driver’s impairment or drunk driving. Whitley confessed to the officers that she had indeed drank several alcoholic drinks the night before. Shortly after her arrest, she was booked into the Bossier jail. A statement was given Monday afternoon by Sheriff Julian Whittington expressing that it was a very unfortunate incident and is not indicative of their school bus drivers. He further said that they will not tolerate drivers who are under the influence of any type, most especially that they are dealing with the security of their children. He then emphasized that the random screening served its purpose well as proven by the immediate findings that happened where the driver was tested and was eventually given a DUI.

Bossier Parish School’s Statement

Subsequent to her arrest, the Bossier Parish Schools gave their statement. The institution said that they are deeply disturbed that a Bossier Parish Bus driver put children’s lives in danger that Monday morning by drunk driving. They also said that they are grateful that a tragedy did not occur while Whitley was behind the wheel. Upon discovering her arrest, they immediately removed Whitley from her route. As outlined in the Bossier Parish Transportation policy, Whitley will be recommended for termination as a bus driver. Bossier Parish schools emphasized that they regret what happened and made it clear to the parents and the public that they will not tolerate drunk driving. Bossier Parish Schools’ record shows that Whitley began her employment in 2012. She drives for several routes for Benton Elementary, Benton Middle, and Benton High schools. She also has a previous record of DUI arrest in 2007 which the district is closely monitoring as to why such previous charge did not appear when a background check was conducted on her. Furthermore, the district reported that during Whitley’s job application, she ticked the “no” when asked if she had ever received a DUI, been arrested, convicted, fined or placed on probation as well as if she was accused, charged or convicted of a felony.



team-green-avatar

Driving under the influence is an issue often overlooked by motorists but one mistake can leave careless drivers jobless and may ruin one’s entire life. If you want to know more about DUI and the legalities involved, check out www.teamgreenlawyers.com.