WALLINGFORD, Pa. — Former school bus driver Christine Rogers was sentenced in August to 72 hours to three months in prison for driving her bus under the influence of alcohol and crashing it while a special-needs student was on board.
Common Pleas Court Judge Barry Dozor also sentenced Rogers to 104 hours of community service, told her she would have to continue attending regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and fined her $1,000, The Delaware County Daily Times reports.
In the June 2010 incident, a police officer pulled Rogers over after she had difficulty turning right onto a street. Police said she drove onto a sidewalk after making several braking moves and was taken into custody after failing field sobriety tests. Police said they found an empty bottle of vodka and a water bottle filled with vodka in a purse near her seat when she was arrested. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.374 percent; the limit for a school bus driver is 0.02 percent.
Rogers later pled guilty to a Tier III DUI offense as well as damaging some shrubs and a stop sign while driving the 16-year-old special-needs student home. She could have received up to nine months in prison and fines as high as $5,300 for the incident, but Rogers’ attorney asked for leniency due to her new full-time employment at a bakery, as well as her remorse and abstention from any drugs or alcohol since her arrest, according to The Delaware County Daily Times.
Dozor called Rogers’ actions “seriously dangerous” and “inexcusable,” but he also weighed her apparent transformation to a sober, responsible adult in handing down the sentence.
Moreover, Dozor noted that a victim-impact letter from the student’s family said they were “not seeking vengeance,” but a serious tragedy could have occurred and appropriate consequences should follow, the newspaper reports.