High School Bus Driver Charged with DUI, Reckless Endangerment, and 36 Counts of Child Abuse

Unbelievable newsworthy story originating out of Westminster Colorado, where high school bus driver, Burton Carpenter, allegedly consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel of the bus to drive 30 high school football players to their September game.  Needless to say, police were called and Carpenter was arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence).

According to a Mountain Range football coach, Carpenter was so intoxicated that he couldn’t drive the bus straight, he was straddling lanes, and had to be directed back into the school parking lot where he crashed into a parked pickup truck.

A bystander claimed, Carpenter gloated that he had been drinking vodka from a 32oz. Gatorade bottle.

When Colorado police arrived on the scene, they noted Carpenter’s eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred, and when he exited the bus he fell down the steps catching himself on the side of the bus.  Police reported his BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level was .20, over twice the legal DUI limit and claimed Carpenter openly admitted to drinking Vodka before driving.

Carpenter was arrested and taken to the police station.  In addition to being charged with DUI, Burton Carpenter was also formally charged with reckless endangerment and 36 counts of child abuse.  He is due back in court sometime in December.

The Adams School District reported they run criminal background checks on all bus drivers and Carpenter’s was clean when they hired him under a year ago.  However, police discovered he had lost his prior job as a nurse due to substance abuse problems.

My guess is Burton would be a good candidate for a deferred prosecution.  In Washington State, a deferred prosecution is a special program for those suffering with alcoholism.  The deferred prosecution is a five-year program which includes court supervision, monitoring and two years of alcohol/drug treatment.  If an individual successfully completes the five-year program without any violations the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) will be dismissed.  This is a great program for some because it creates a win win.


Written by S.O