BLOOMFIELD, N.J. — A school bus driver was arrested recently while on her way to pick up special-needs children at a school in Montclair, N.J., and was charged with driving while intoxicated.
Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said that detectives observed a Hudson County Transport school bus run a red light and almost strike another vehicle. The school bus was pulled over immediately and the sheriff’s officers detected the strong odor of alcohol.
Fontoura said that when the driver, Elizabeth Anaya, 62, opened the school bus door, the officers spotted an empty bottle of rum in her jacket pocket and an open can of beer in between her legs.
Anaya failed a field sobriety test. A blood alcohol test was subsequently administered, and it revealed that Anaya’s alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.
“It was most fortunate that our officers crossed paths with this individual,” Fontoura said. “While the driver was the only person on the bus at the time of her arrest, she was on her way to pick up children who suffer from autism. The potential consequences of these children being on her bus are truly frightening.”
The school bus was impounded and towed. Hudson County Transport was notified and another bus was sent to pick up the students.
Anaya was charged with driving while intoxicated, running a red light and possession of an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle.