Who’s Watching the Kids? School Employees Charged with DUI
By: Mike Stetzer
When parents send their kids to school, they expect that competent
and sober adults will care for them.
However, sometimes these expectations are not met. The
stories below highlight recent cases of a school bus driver and a teacher
charged with DUI. Most shocking is the
school bus driver, as students were aboard the bus while he was reportedly
driving with a very high blood alcohol content. The teacher charged with DUI
was likely on school vacation when the incident occurred, but if guilty as
charged, has demonstrated poor judgment.
School Bus Driver
Arrested for DUI
Approximately 104 elementary school students in Franklin, Ind., told their parents they had a scary ride home from school this
week. The students said their school bus driver was weaving and hit a mailbox
while delivering them to their homes on March 3.
Alarmed by what the children said happened, concerned parents
called the school police. Later, Phillip K. Leslie, 47, was found at the school
district's transportation center. According to a MSNBC report, he was slumped over the steering wheel of the bus
when police arrived. Leslie, a retired firefighter, began driving the bus for
the school district at the beginning of the school year. He had completed two
afternoon bus routes that day.
Leslie reportedly had trouble opening the bus door for
police. He failed field
sobriety tests and was arrested for suspicion of DUI. Police say a breath
test measured his blood alcohol content to be .22.
He was charged with DUI, DUI with children in the vehicle,
felony neglect and public intoxication and bail was set at $75,000. School
district officials have announced they will seek to terminate his employment
Teacher Pleads Not
Guilty to Felony DUI Charge
A middle school teacher in Idaho has pleaded not guilty to
felony DUI. Jonah J. Torseth, 33, was charged with felony aggravated DUI after
allegedly striking a pedestrian with his car on Dec. 30.
Torseth faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to
$5,000, and a minimum of 30 days behind bars if convicted of felony DUI. Idaho Mountain News reported his DUI
lawyer has requested a drunk driving jury
In a strange twist in the case, Judge Robert J. Elgee, who
presided over Torseth's arraignment, removed himself from the case, and said
that Judge Barry Wood will have to set the trial date. Torseth reportedly
stepped aside because of a disqualification motion filed against him by the
Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.