Eagan bus driver arrested for driving drunk, hitting parked vehicle

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2010 - 7:59 AM

Seven Eagan High School students were aboard the bus when it hit a parked motor home. There were no injuries.

Eagan police on Monday arrested a school bus driver on suspicion of drunken driving after he crashed his bus into a parked motor home.

The driver, a 61-year-old Eagan man, was arrested shortly after 2:30 p.m. after the crash near Curry Trail and Daniel Drive, said Danielle Anselment, a spokeswoman for the Eagan Police Department. Seven Eagan High School students were aboard the bus, but nobody was injured, she said.

Officers spoke with the driver and smelled alcohol on his breath, Anselment said. He failed field sobriety tests and was arrested. The driver provided a urine sample and was released from the Eagan Police Department pending a formal complaint by the city attorney's office.

The level of alcohol concentration will not be available until lab tests are completed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Anselment said.

The driver has no prior driving-related convictions, she said.

Tony Taschner, spokesman for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District, said the driver has been suspended pending the outcome of a school district investigation.

In Minnesota, school-bus drivers hold a commercial vehicle driver's license, and those drivers are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 percent or higher. That's half the legal limit for non-commercial drivers.

The school district could fire the driver based on its own investigation -- even before his license would be revoked or before resolution of any criminal charges that may be filed, Taschner said.

The bus couldn't be driven after the accident and was towed from the scene. The students were taken home on another bus. The district owns its own buses.

Polly Reikowski, principal of Eagan High School, said that when the accident occurred, the driver was nearing the end of his route.

Joy Powell • 952-882-9017

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