Beverly police officers and school officials at New England Academy discovered a 38-year-old bus driver from Reading had been possibly intoxicated while driving a school bus Tuesday afternoon.
New England Academy CFO John Vogus told Beverly Patch the bus driver was not typically assigned to the school's route, and was called in when their usual driver was not there.
The driver never ended up transporting any children, as Vogus said he and other staff members noticed the possible smell of alcohol on the driver's breath "to err on the side of caution" they requested a new driver from the bus company, and called police.
Police spokesman Dave Costa said officers responded to the New England Academy at the Cummings Center just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
On arrival officers were directed to the bus (van) in question, which was taking up two spaces in the parking lot, and upon speaking to the man in question detected the odor of alcohol on his breath and noted that he did slur his words a few time while talking to them.
Reports stated the man told police he had consumed four to five beers the night before, finishing the last one at around 1:30 a.m., and believed that to be the cause of alcohol on his breath.
Officers also noted that his license required him to wear corrective lenses and he did not have contacts or glasses in his possession, and for this reason alone, police determined he could not safely transport children.
The individual did agree to field sobriety tests and passed two of the four tests.
Officers determined that he was not able to transport children safely and contacted the bus company to had them send another bus out to pick up the children. The school bus was secured in the lot and the keys given to the second bus driver.
No arrests were made, as officers did not witness operation of the vehicle.
Vogus said he is unsure what, if any, disciplinary actions were taken against the driver by the bus company, but he did say that the school has requested to not have him transporting their students in the future.