School Bus Driver Charged With DUI Had 67 Kids On Board

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Salt Lake City school bus driver was arrested for driving under the influence with 67 children on board.

Frightened chaperones on the bus told police that the driver, Lycia Martinez, was swerving in and out of lanes at 80 mph.

Martinez, 39, allegedly had four different prescription drugs in her system when she was arrested Monday morning. Police cited dizziness as a side effect of the medications, including painkillers, anti-anxiety and blood pressure medication.

Oneboard were elementary school students and eight teachers from Davis County all headed to Brigham Young University.

“Oh my hell,” a parent on board told 911. “I don't get scared very easily but my heart is pounding.”

“Oh, oh, oh. She almost hit a van... I am honestly shaking at this point. I'm going to just close my eyes so I see nothing,” the parent said.

Police say they received several other reports from drivers who witnessed the incident, but that the fifth and sixth grades on board seemed mostly oblivious to the driving.

Utah Highway Patrol pulled over the bus and conducted a field sobriety test.

Martinez was booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of failure to maintain a single lane and DUI, which was enhanced to a class A misdemeanor because she was driving children younger than 16. Further charges are pending blood test results, according to the Standard Examiner.

Utah State Patrol's Sergeant Blaine Robbins says they were lucky nobody got hurt.

“We really dodged a bullet,” Robbins said.

UHP confirmed Martinez had prescriptions for all of the medications.

Martinez, who has worked for the Davis County School District for six years, was suspended pending a police investigation.

Sources: Standard Examiner, Daily Mail

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / brian, Daily Mail / Salt Lake County