A Walton County School District bus driver was arrested in the middle of her route and later fired for driving while under the influence with 31 children on board the bus, WSB-TV Atlanta reported.
Carole Etheridge was driving students to school on Monday morning when a Loganville Middle School student noticed the driver acting strange and let their parent know. The parent, in turn, notified the school.
Mid-route at Loganville, police administered a field sobriety test to Etheridge and subsequently arrested her. They found four small bottles and one large bottle of alcohol, as well as prescription pills, in her bag.
Etheridge posted bond and was released the same day. School officials had fired her by Thursday.
She faces a DUI charge and 16 counts of child endangerment, one for each child on the bus under the age of 14.
A parent said on Facebook that her child had told her Etheridge “would go around the curves so fast that it was on two wheels, that when she'd come to a stop, she'd hit the breaks (sic) so hard that the kids would all lunge forward and hit their heads on the seat in front of them.”
“I actually called the school twice since the beginning of the school year because of her erratic driving,” said another parent.
A school spokesperson said Etheridge had a clean driving record when she was hired in March. She also said that neither she nor Etheridge’s superiors at the transportation department had received parent complaints about her driving.
A month before beginning her job at Walton County Schools, Etheridge had been released from her Gwinnett County Schools driving position for “unsatisfactory performance.”