SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Legislation that allows school bus operations to test drivers for alcohol or drugs if the driver is suspected of using such substances will take effect on Jan. 1.
Public Act 97-0466, supported this year by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, allows a school bus operation that has a reasonable suspicion to believe that a bus driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to require the driver to submit to alcohol and drug testing before driving a bus.
The secretary of state's office will suspend for three years the school bus permit of a driver who refuses to submit to a test or fails to obtain a zero for the presence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds.
"It is unconscionable that anyone would ever endanger the lives of schoolchildren by consuming alcohol or drugs prior to driving their school bus route," White said. "This law ensures that any such school bus driver's permit will be suspended by my office for three years."