A Wisconsin bus driver charged with OWI after admitting to drinking while elementary students were on a field trip.

According to Action 2 News, fourth and fifth grade students from Lincoln Elementary School were on the way back to school, when a student noticed an open can of beer under the driver’s seat. This incident happened on April 18th, 2022 and letter was sent to the families of the Lincoln Elementary School.

Lincoln Principal Adam Gloudemans spoke on the incident:

We regret that this situation occurred. We will be directing Lamers to no longer have the bus driver assigned to District routes. Please know that student safety is our highest priority and we will review safety protocols with Lamers.

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The 70 year-old bus driver worked for Lamers Bus Lines. The Bus company released the following statement:

On Monday, April 18, Lamers Bus Lines was alerted to an empty beer can on a charter trip carrying students from Madison, Wisconsin to Lincoln Elementary School in Green Bay. The Green Bay Area School District notified Lamers Bus Lines shortly before the trip returned to the school and said adults on the bus could not smell alcohol and did not witness any impaired driving.

Lamers office staff and the supervisor interacted with the driver, as they typically do, and did not observe any impairment before the driver departed on the trip.

Lamers Bus Lines had a supervisor meet the bus at Lincoln School along with the district safety and security coordinator, and the school principal, to evaluate the driver in accordance with DOT regulations. We were prepared to follow reasonable suspicion guidelines. While onsite the Green Bay Police Department assumed control of the scene and processed the driver according to their protocol.

Lamers will continue to be fully cooperative with the school district and the Green Bay Police Department, and are committed to a safe, drug and alcohol-free workplace. Lamers Bus Lines has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, and the driver has been terminated, effective immediately.

It was stated that the teachers on the bus spoke with the bus driver to determine if they could smell alcohol, which the teachers responded that they could not, nor did they witness any impaired driving.

After officers had the teacher do a sobriety test, one teacher came forward and stated they noticed the bus driver strike a curb while making a right turn. Another teacher saw a cooler tipped over beneath the driver’s seat with the lid open. The teacher saw four cans in koozies that resembled Budweiser and appeared to be empty

 The former bus driver has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, first offense, with a minor child present.

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