A school bus driver was accused of driving under the influence while on the job.
Students from Leonardtown High School in St. Mary’s County were boarding the bus for the ride home Thursday when a St. Mary's County Sheriff's deputy arrived, investigators said. A parent claimed to have seen the bus driving erratically on nearby Point Lookout Road.
"He smelled alcohol on her breath, then administered a field sobriety test," said Cpl. Cindy Allen, of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.
The bus driver, 67-year-old Ethel Quade Ressler of Mechanicsville, was charged with DUI. She was taken to the Sheriff's Office in Leonardtown but was then driven to a hospital after making statements that she wanted to harm herself.
Ressler, one of the St. Mary's County Public School System's 300 drivers, did pass a pre-employment background check, officials said. Her status with the school system remains to be determined, said Jeffrey Thompson of St. Mary’s County Schools.
Because Ressler holds a commercial driver's license, which is necessary to drive a bus, she could face additional charges.