New Jersey Drunk Driving News: Burlington County School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty to DWI, Child Endangerment

In what could be referred to as a case of “bussing while intoxicated,” a Garden State school bus driver not long ago pleaded guilty to operating a school bus loaded with children while she was apparently under the influence of alcohol in November 2011. As many people can surely understand, the impact of a DWI conviction on most any professional driver, especially one who transports children, can be serious and long-lasting.

As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, my legal team is well versed in the statutes pertaining to our state’s DWI and drug DUI laws. For most people who have been charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by doctor-prescribed medications (even illegal substances like cocaine or marijuana), a first-time DWI-DUI offense can be an eye-opening experience. With monetary penalties approaching thousands of dollars (including auto insurance premium assessments) and potential jail time depending on the specific circumstances, there is little sense in tempting fate by going it alone in a courtroom.

Of course, finding a qualified DWI lawyer can be one of the most important steps one can take following a drunken driving arrest. And, taking advantage of a free initial consultation can be invaluable for almost anyone facing a serious alcohol or drug-related traffic violation. In our estimation, it is better to understand your rights going forward than to leave things more to chance by confronting the arresting officer and a skilled municipal prosecutor in a court of law.

With regard to the news article we read a little while ago, the defendant was up against an array of serious charges having been turned in, more or less, by the very children she was transporting. According to reports, the incident took place on November 10, 2011, as Carole Crockett was driving 25 students home from Westampton Middle School in Burlington County, NJ.

Police stated that a number of students on board the defendant’s had called their parents apparently worried about the way in which their bus driver was operating the vehicle. According to news reports, the children stated that the driver almost hit a car that was parked on the side of the roadway, as well as nearly hitting a person who was jogging nearby. Based on the news reports, some of the kids had actually gotten off early at bus stops nowhere near their homes, while others missed the bus altogether because the driver left the school without picking them up.

After being contacted by their children, some of the parents then called the police department and advised it of the incident, after which officers reportedly approached the 48-year-old Crockett at Holly Hills Elementary School where she was apparently set to pick up another group of even younger kids. Once in custody, according to news articles, Crockett’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) was measured at 0.25 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit in New Jersey.

Crockett, who was employed at the time by a privately-owned transportation company contracted by the school district, was charged by police with 25 individual counts of DWI, as well as driving under the influence on school property, DWI with a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and disorderly conduct. Following the recent guilty plea, Crockett’s sentencing hearing was set for this coming January.

Shamong woman pleads guilty to driving school bus full of kids while drunk, NJ.com, October 28, 2013
School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Driving Drunk With Students On Board, CBSLocal.com, October 28, 2013