Bossier Parish bus driver charged with DWI after delivering students to school

Bossier Parish bus driver charged with DWI after delivering students to school

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier Parish Schools bus driver was arrested Monday morning, accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated following a random drug screen.

Bridget Whitley, 33, of the 200 block of Seven Pines Road in Benton, was charged with DWI 2nd and booked around noon, according to the Bossier Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say Whitley drove her school bus route early Monday morning, safely delivering the students to their school destinations.

At the conclusion of her route, she reported to a random drug screening and drove her school bus to that testing site. During the testing, Whitley allegedly showed signs of impairment, prompting further investigation. Police say Whitley performed poorly on the Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and was arrested.

Whitley admitted to deputies that she had consumed several alcoholic beverages Sunday evening. She was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility with a $50,000 bond.

"This is a very unfortunate incident and not indicative of our school bus drivers," said Sheriff Julian Whittington in a statement released Monday afternoon, "But we will not tolerate impaired driving of any type, especially when we are dealing with the safety of our children. The random screening process worked like it should – the driver was tested, impairment was noted, and the driver was charged with DWI."

After Whitley's arrest, Bossier Parish Schools released the following statement:

"We are deeply disturbed that a Bossier Parish bus driver put children's lives in danger this morning by driving her route impaired and are grateful a tragedy did not occur while she was behind the wheel. Upon discovery of her arrest, Ms. Whitley was immediately removed from her route and, as outlined in the Bossier Parish Transportation policy, will be recommended for termination as a bus driver. We regret this happened and want to make it clear to our parents and public that impaired driving will not be tolerated by Bossier Parish Schools."

According to Bossier Parish schools, Whitley was employed in 2012. Her first DWI arrest was in 2007. The district said they're investigating as to why, when a background check was conducted, the previous charge did not show up.

In addition, the district says on Whitley's employment application, when asked if she had ever received a DWI, been arrested, convicted, fined or placed on probation, or accused, charged or convicted of a felony, Whitley checked 'no.'

Whitley ran routes for Benton Elementary, Benton Middle and Benton High schools, according to a Bossier Parish Schools spokesperson.

Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.