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School bus driver DWI charges dropped

Charges of driving while impaired against a New York school bus driver have been dropped after blood tests revealed only a small amount of prescription drugs in her system. The 46-year-old was charged with DWI on April 29 after concerned students called 911.

According to state police, the bus was transporting more than 20 lacrosse team students and two adult coaches to a game and traveling on Route 481. Students became concerned and called 911 because the bus was swerving and hit the shoulder several times. The coaches were sitting in the front of the bus at the time.

The driver was charged with three counts of aggravated DWI and 14 counts of endangering the welfare of children, as well as a traffic violation. All charges have been dropped, according to the Onondaga District Attorney's office. The only drugs found in the driver's system by blood testing were prescription drugs in too small an amount to warrant a charge of impairment. Additionally, the district attorney's office reports that the adults on the bus did not agree with the students' assessment of the situation and that the 911 call description of the driving did not match video evidence taken on a student's cell phone. The DA's office criticized the Whitesboro School District because it did not allow police to talk to students or coaches on the bus. The office also says that the parents of the student who called 911 refused to allow him to talk to police.

As this case shows, blood tests can sometimes help to disprove a charge of drunk driving or driving while impaired by drugs. But when blood tests are positive for impairment, that fact alone is not enough to prove that the driver is guilty. Chemical tests are not always accurate, and positive drug or alcohol blood test results can be challenged by a criminal defense attorney.

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