NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A school bus driver here who was recently accused of driving students while intoxicated pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday, The Post-Standard reports.
On March 27, Beth Walters, a bus driver for the North Syracuse Central School District, was removed from her duties after being suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a news release from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. Coworkers told district officials that they detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Walters. Walters, who had finished her first route, was located at a middle school and was taken to a local medical facility.
A school resource officer assigned to the district was notified, and an investigation, which also included a blood draw analysis, showed that Walters was impaired by the consumption of alcohol, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She was suspended by the district that day and remains suspended while the district conducts an internal investigation. Walters was charged in June with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
On Thursday morning, Walters’ attorney appeared with her in court and requested that the charge against her be dismissed, according to The Post-Standard. He said that Walters took a non-chemical breath test the morning of the incident and the reading was 0.00.
Onondaga County Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bednarski said that Walters did not take a chemical breath test, but she took a blood draw analysis about eight hours later, and the results from that test were 0.00, the newspaper reports. Other tests were used to charge Walters, but Bednarski told The Post-Standard that he wasn't able to discuss the evidence in the case.
Walters is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 2.