Former Lafayette Parish school bus driver accused of driving with alcohol in his system


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LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — A former Lafayette Parish school-bus driver accused of driving with alcohol in his system when he crashed a bus hauling elementary-age children into a ditch in March has been arrested.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's office tells The Advocate ( 50-year-old John Bernard registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 percent at the time of the crash.

Although the blood-alcohol level for presumption of drunk driving is 0.08 percent for the general public, under Louisiana law, it's 0.02 percent for on-duty commercial drivers.

The Lafayette Parish School System has a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use for those responsible for school-children, school system Transportation Director Damon Evans said.

Bernard resigned from his position the day after the March 12 crash, Evans said.

Eleven Katharine Drexel Elementary School students were on the bus when Bernard ran off the road and into a ditch at La Flamme and St. Nazaire roads in Broussard. He was cited at the time for careless operation of a vehicle.

Bernard posted a $40,000 bond Wednesday and was released from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Bernard.

Information from: The Advocate,

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