School bus driver had beer on bus

February 12, 2008 4:22:18 AM PST
A school bus driver has been accused of buying and drinking alcohol while he was on duty to transport the tennis team to and from a tournament. Vernon Eugene Allen, 60, was cited on possession of an intoxicant beverage while on duty and alcohol measured and detected while in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, authorities said.

Each citation carries a fine of up to $500.

Allen was fired Friday from his job with Student Transportation Specialists, said Ralph Williams, the company's director of operations in Red Oak.

Red Oak school district officials say Allen drove the team Friday morning to Forney for a tournament. At some point, someone saw him buy beer and called authorities, the school district said.

When authorities stopped Allen and searched the bus, they found an intact package of beer and two empty containers, the district said. Allen was not charged with driving while intoxicated.

No students were on the bus at the time. Another bus driver brought the students back safely, the school district said.

"I will immediately meet with STS officials to express our outrage ... as well as discuss their future with the district," Red Oak school Superintendent Scott Niven said in a written statement.

Student Transportation Specialists checks the backgrounds and performs drug tests on all applicants, Williams said.

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