School bus driver accused of driving drunk with 31 students on board

A Georgia school bus driver was arrested after she allegedly drove a bus full of students while under the influence of alcohol.

Carole Ann Etheridge, a 49-year-old Walton County school bus driver, was arrested mid-route on Monday after students on the bus texted their parents to tell them they noticed something was off about the driver and the way she was driving, WXIA reported.

Etheridge was arrested at Loganville Middle School where she tested positive for DUI. Another bus driver was called in to complete her route, according to the news outlet.

There were 31 students on board the bus, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said Wednesday that deputies found a large bottle of tequila, small bottles of vodka and prescription pills in Etheridge's purse.

Melanie Walker, a mother whose children were on the bus with Etheridge, posted on Facebook that she called the school twice earlier this year to complain about Etheridge’s driving, which she called “erratic.”

However, a spokesperson from the school district told WXIA she was not aware of any complaints filed against Etheridge, adding the driver has been with the district since March after she passed a background check.

School officials said that Etheridge is no longer employed with the school district.

Etheridge faces 16 counts of child endangerment charges, as well as DUI. Jail officials reportedly said the driver’s charges were written as traffic citations and no warrants were issued. She’s currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond.