School bus driver accused of DUI with 31 kids on board

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — School officials have fired a bus driver accused of driving under the influence with 31 children on board.

Carole Etheridge was arrested on the Loganville Middle School grounds Monday after taking a field sobriety test.

According to school leaders, a student on the school bus she was driving noticed something wasn’t right.

“A student on the bus actually notified their parent. And the parent notified the school,” said Callen Moore, with Walton County schools.

Investigators said they found a large bottle of tequila, four small bottles of vodka and four bottles of prescription pills in her purse.


Channel 2 Action News dug into school records and learned that Etheridge started driving for Walton County schools in March and school leaders said she passed a background check without any problems with her driving record.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Gwinnett County schools confirmed to Channel 2's Tony Thomas that Etheridge used to be one of their drivers but was fired in January for "unsatisfactory performance."

Etheridge was charged with DUI and 16 counts of endangering a child, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She is currently out of jail on bond.

Channel 2 Action News went to her home in Dacula to get her side of the story but no one answered the door.

Parents told Choi that Etheridge deserves a severe punishment.

“Jail time. A lot of jail time,” said parent Aimee Elmore. “That’s putting the lives of our kids in danger and anybody else on the road.”

School leaders are praising the alert student who notified their parent.