Alabama bus driver arrested for driving drunk with kids on board

SEMINOLE, Ala. (WKRG) - A Baldwin County, Alabama school bus driver has been arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence with twenty-five students on board, according to county officials. 

Vicki Lynn Patrick, 58, was arrested Friday afternoon after first responders arrived on the scene of what they originally thought was a medical issue, officials say.

The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office says first responders were called to a small parking lot area near the intersection of US Highway 90 and Browns Landing Road around 4 p.m. Officials say the bus appeared to be having some type of issue, but the bus driver seemed to be intoxicated. 

Baldwin County officials say the twenty-five students on board were mostly from Elsanor Elementary School. 

According to witnesses, a student pulled the emergency exit door forcing the driver to pull over or the bus wouldn't work.  First responders quickly figured out it was alcohol-related and called the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. 

A 13-year-old student on the bus said after they were picked up from Elsanor, the bus driver started "swerving all over the place."

The sheriff's office said Patrick refused to take a sobriety test on scene and reeked of "the smell of a fermented beverage." Deputies say she was extremely disoriented and could barely stand or answer questions. 

The sheriff's office says Patrick was evaluated by medical and then placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI. She remains in the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Corrections Center where she will be held until a bond hearing Monday, according to the sheriff's office. 

Patrick has been charged with DUI and reckless endangerment.

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