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Nearly 1 year after incident, bus driver pleads guilty to DUI

Nearly one year ago, a school bus driver was accused of driving under the influence with a bus full of children and parents on a field trip ("DUI suspected of school bus driver in Utah," Oct. 20, 2014). Recently, she pleaded guilty to DUI and could spend up to a year in jail. Her sentencing is currently scheduled for Dec. 7.

On Oct. 13, 2014, a bus driver was assigned to drive the seven adults and 67 students on the bus. The Utah Highway Patrol received numerous calls from drivers on Interstate 15 regarding a school bus that was moving erratically in and out of the lanes and crossing over into the opposing lanes of travel. The adults on the bus who were chaperoning the field trip also made calls to 911.

Troopers caught up to the bus and pulled the driver over. Reports indicate that the driver failed field sobriety tests. A search of her belongings turned up several prescription medications that police believe were the cause of her bizarre behavior that day.

In some cases, it is better to enter into a plea agreement, when available, than risk the consequences of a potential guilty verdict after trial. Considering the fact that numerous witnesses to the way in which the woman was driving that day existed, along with the presence of painkillers, high blood pressure medicine and anti-anxiety medications, the woman and her criminal defense counsel most likely discussed the fact that an overwhelming amount of evidence existed regarding the DUI charge. Under the stated circumstances, it appears that negotiating a plea bargain with prosecutors was her best option. While not every case is resolved in this manner, it is an appropriate option in specific situations that typically results in a substantial benefit to the accused person.

Source: good4utah.com, "Davis County bus driver pleads guilty to DUI", Jason Nguyen, Sept. 16, 2015

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