GATES, NY – A school bus driver was charged on Friday with DUI after it was reported that the bus made an unauthorized stop at a McDonalds restaurant. School officials here said they notified police when 29-year-old Lashonda Griffin’s bus had stopped in the lot. According to the police, Griffin took two students into McDonalds and one student filmed the tipsy bus driver walking back to the bus. Police said Griffin had a blood alcohol content over the 0.08 legal limit. Police later caught up to Griffin after she took her bus back to the bus depot where she was passed out.
Gates Chili Student shares brief video of bus driver this morning making McDonald’s stop with kids pic.twitter.com/t3X4G85bGT
— Christian Garzone (@ccjgarzone) October 16, 2020
“We are very sorry that these students and families in this community have been impacted by the unfathomable actions of one person. Please remember this was an act of one employee,” the Gates-Chilli Schoo District said in a statement. “The district is proud of its bus drivers and their safety record of transporting thousands of students each day without incident. Out of an abundance of caution, the district is taking time to review safety protocols with all drivers.”
Griffin was charged with four counts of felony DWI under Leandra’s law, a law that protects underaged children from drunk drivers. Parents of students on the bus suspect this is not Griffin’s first time DWI behind the wheel of the school bus, citing other instances of lateness.
“We were definitely very lucky in this situation that all of the children were delivered to school from home safely and that the driver had returned back to the bus garage,” said Gates Police Department Lt. Robert Long “At which point we intercepted her prior to any other bus routes or any other students or people being on that bus or any lives in jeopardy.”