A school bus driver in Northern Westchester admitted to driving drunk with dozens of children on board.
Somers resident William Mendez, 62, who was working for Royal Coach Lines, which was employed by the Somers Central School District, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Sept. 22 to driving while intoxicated with young children on his bus last December.
Specifically, Mendez pleaded guilty to Leandra’s Law, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said, a felony that is related to driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.
A parent notified school officials in Somers that Mendez was “acting strange” while driving children home from Primrose Elementary School and Somers Intermediate School on Dec. 9 last year.
Scarpino said officials contacted, Royal Coach Line’s Somers dispatch to advise them to Mendez off the road, and he was relieved of his duties that day and taken to Northern Westchester Hospital for evaluation by police.
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New York State Police in Northern Westchester launched an investigation into Mendez’s behavior and the parent's claim, and the investigation determined that Mendez's blood alcohol content was .22 percent, nearly triple the legal limit, when he was driving the children.
On the day Mendez was apprehended, there were 44 children on the bus he was driving, all between grades 3 through 5, and a replacement driver took them home safely without incident.
Mendez was released following his guilty plea. Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 20, 2021.
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