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Bus driver accused of driving while high on marijuana

On March 28, a Massachusetts bus driver for a Chelmsford school reportedly admitted that he had smoked marijuana prior to picking up students and driving them on a field trip. The 63-year-old man pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

According to Chelmsford police, school administrators called the authorities after several students told a teacher that there was a "strange odor" in their bus. The teacher then notified the principal who then investigated the bus with several other administrators. They identified the smell as marijuana. The students were ultimately removed from the bus and the authorities came to the school to investigate.

When the authorities arrived, the driver reportedly showed signs of impairment. He reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana when he was questioned about the smell. The authorities charged him with operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs, reckless endangerment and operating negligently as to endanger. He was released from custody on the condition that he abstain from marijuana, other drugs and alcohol. He appeared in Lowell District Court where he was released on personal recognizance.

A conviction on these types of OUI charges could potentially lead to people losing their jobs and facing serious legal consequences that could make it difficult to find other employment. As a result, it could be advisable for people who are in this type of a situation to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to develop a strategy to combat the allegations. When it is a first offense, it might be possible to have the penalties reduced to community service, for example.

Source: Chelmsford Patch, "Chelmsford School Bus Driver Smoked Pot Before Field Trip: Police", Jason Claffey, March 28, 2017

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