Authorities: Bus Driver Almost Three Times Legal Limit While Driving Students

Credit: Westminster Police Department/KCNC

A school bus driver was allegedly sipping on vodka out of a Gatorade bottle before driving high school football players to a game.

Court documents say Burton Carpenter, 57, was close to three times the legal alcohol limit while driving more than 30 Westminster, Colo. students. According to sister station KCNC, one of the coaches said Burton was straddling lanes, then collided with a parked truck in the school parking lot.

Police said Carpenter nearly toppled over getting out of the bus, having to catch himself on the side of the bus after tripping down the steps. He was allegedly showing other signs of intoxication, such as bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

According to a witness, Carpenter admitted to drinking vodka out of a 32 ounce Gatorade bottle prior to getting behind the wheel. The witness statement is included in court documents.

Carpenter has been charged with 36 counts of child abuse, five counts of reckless endangerment, and also faces DUI charges.

Officials with the Adams 12 School District told KCNC that they do a background check of all prospective bus driver candidates, and Carpenter had a clean check. But KCNC says that records show Carpenter had lost a job as a nurse just last year because of substance abuse.