School bus driver admits to driving drunk

WESTMINSTER — An Adams County school bus driver pleaded guilty to DUI in what football players and coaches described as a terrifying 10-mile ride home from a game.

Burton Carpenter is scheduled to be sentenced Friday after entering the plea to DUI and one count of knowing or reckless child abuse on Monday.

Witnesses told police of a frightening post-game return trip from Prairie View High School to Mountain Range High School.

Coach Keith Chavez said Carpenter failed to stop at railroad crossing, almost hit a vehicle while changing lanes and needed to be directed to the Mountain Range parking lot, according to an arrest affidavit. No injuries were reported, KMGH-TV reported Tuesday.

Coach Bryan McClure said the bus driver was straddling both lanes of traffic for most of trip home.

A police officer investigating the bus crash wrote that he could smell alcohol “emanating from the bus” when he stepped onboard. The officer said Carpenter, who was still sitting in the driver’s seat, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. Carpenter told police he “drank a little bit” of vodka that morning.

Carpenter was arrested Sept. 21 with a blood alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit.

There were 37 students and four adults on the bus.



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