Mass. Bus Driver Charged for Drunk Driving While Transporting Students

USA News


  • Bethann Sweeney was arrested by state police after they said she drove a school bus intoxicated, Boston.com reports.
  • Adult supervisors on board told officers that Sweeney had been driving erratically.
  • Police concluded that she was under the influence after they performed several field breathalyzer tests.

A Massachusetts school bus driver was arrested on Thursday after police said she was under the influence while transporting a busload of students. 

Police pulled over Bethann Sweeney, 53, a Hingham school bus driver, in a Friendly’s parking lot after they responded to a call from a passenger who told them that she was driving erratically, Boston.com reports.

According to the outlet, Sweeney was transporting 28 passengers between the ages of 14 and 20 and two adult supervisors from the Hingham United Basketball Special Olympics closing ceremony at Plymouth North High School and was driving them back to Hingham High School.

The adult supervisors on board the bus told officers that Sweeney had been swerving in and out of lanes, running a red light, and driving in the opposite direction of their destination, according to the outlet. 

Police said Sweeney showed signs of being intoxicated after she stepped off the bus, according to Boston.com.

Police told the news outlet that Sweeney reeked of alcohol and was wobbly on her feet. 

Officers concluded that Sweeney was under the influence of alcohol after they performed several field sobriety tests, according to Boston.com. 

Upon searching her vehicle, police say they found a half-empty 23.7-ounce Poland Springs water bottle, which smelled like liquor, according to the news outlet.

Police say that Sweeney refused to take a breathalyzer test after she was taken back to the State Police Barracks in Norwell, according to the outlet. 

According to the outlet, Sweeney is charged with the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor, child endangerment while operating under the influence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle; reckless endangerment of a child; and possession of an open container of alcohol while driving.

According to a joint statement by Hingham Public School Superintendent Margret Adams and Principal Rick Swanson, the students were transported home safely by another bus.

“We are deeply concerned by the incident, and more importantly, the distress this caused our students,” The statement reads. “We are grateful to our staff on board the bus, who responded immediately and acted quickly and responsibly to protect the safety of our students.”





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