A substitute Calcasieu Parish school bus driver is accused of driving with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
According to a news release from Louisiana State Police, Troop D, on Monday, shortly before 8 a.m., a state trooper spotted a speeding school bus traveling south on La. 27 about six miles south of DeQuincy in Calcasieu Parish.
Troopers say the bus, registered to the Calcasieu Parish School Board, was also observed weaving and operating left of the highway's centerline.
The trooper stopped the bus and determined that the driver, 26-year-old Matthew Oliver Richard, of Sulphur, was intoxicated.
Troopers say that Richard was arrested and submitted a breath sample to determine alcohol intoxication.
The result was .211g percent which is over 2 ½ times the legal limit in Louisiana, according to troopers.
Troopers say that no children were on the bus at the time of the traffic stop. However, the investigation revealed that just a short time earlier, 49 children under 12 years of age were on the bus. Those children were dropped off to area schools and no injuries were reported, according to troopers.
Troopers say that further investigation revealed that an open bottle of alcohol found in Richard's possession was stolen from an area supermarket earlier in the day.
Richard was charged with DWI with child endangerment, speeding 75 in a 55 mile per hour zone, improper lane usage, possession of an open alcoholic container in a motor vehicle and theft under $500.
Richard was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center.
CPSB Assistant Superintendent Gary Anderson tells KPLC that Richard was just certified in early- to-mid-December and is no longer employed.
Parents are outraged that something like this could happen.
"I know it's hard to test them but when they do this they are endangering themselves and other people on the road and the kids," said Lois Parker.
"I have grandchildren and they don't ride the bus. But they could have been on it and something could have happened and we'd be after him," said Ruth Brown.
"I was actually on my way back from Sulphur this morning and I seen a state trooper pull a school bus over. I said to my friend he must have been going awful fast for a state trooper to pull him over. And then come to find out he was drunk. I think he should be made an example of and have to pay out of pocket. The School Board and everybody else should black ball him because these are our babies they are taking care of while we are not there," said Sylvia Smith.
At last check, Richard remains jailed in the Calcasieu Correctional Center with no bond set.
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