Parents concerned following bus driver's drunken driving arrest - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Parents concerned following bus driver's drunken driving arrest

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Tammy Costello was arrested on Wednesday. (Farmington police photo) Tammy Costello was arrested on Wednesday. (Farmington police photo)

A bus driver in Farmington allegedly took 20 middle schoolers on a wild ride while drunk.

It happened on the third day of school for students.

Tammy Costello, 44, was arrested on Wednesday and faces a number of charges.

Police said an officer suspected she was drunk as soon as she started talking to him.

Statements from students on board her bus backed the officer's suspicions. Police said Costello also failed the field sobriety and breath tests.

The officer was on his way to the Robbins Middle School Wednesday morning when he saw a bus partially swerve off the road and onto a grassy area.

He said it was Costello behind the wheel. She was charged with driving under the influence and 20 counts of risk of injury to a minor.

The officer followed Costello's bus to the school and spoke with students as they were getting off of it. A few of them told the officer that the bus hit a number of curbs on their way to school.

When the officer noticed that the driver appeared intoxicated, he gave her the sobriety test.

Once transported to the police department, officers said she blew a .139, which is more than three times the legal limit for a driver of a commercial vehicle.

"It's worrying that we're sending our kids and we trust these people to take care of them, and apparently some feel like it's OK to arrive at work like that and put our kids lives at risk," said James Warren of Farmington.

In a statement, Costello's employer told Eyewitness News that, "The M&J Bus Company is appalled at the incident that occurred Wednesday morning involving one of our bus drivers. We apologize to the Farmington community for this incident, and we are deeply committed to the safety of all Farmington students."

M&J said that it conducts alcohol and drug tests when it hires its bus drivers. It also does random testing as well.

Costello has been suspended during the investigation.

She has been released on bond and set to face a judge next week.

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