GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay school bus driver that was allegedly found with an open beer can under his seat is being charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence with a minor child in the vehicle.
James Nelson, 70, could face fines up to $1,100 and is expected to have his operating privilege revoked for a minimum of one year.
Officers say that when talking with Nelson after arriving back in Green Bay, he admitted to drinking two beers while in Madison for a school field trip at around 12:00 p.m. Nelson then drove the bus around 1:00 p.m. to transport the kids back to Green Bay.
According to the criminal complaint, teachers and chaperones noticed while the bus was traveling back to Green Bay, the bus was doing a lot of drifting back and forth, hitting rumble strips around five times. It was windy that day so teachers and chaperones figured that was the significant factor for the bus drifting back and forth.
After arriving back in Green Bay, police greeted Nelson and began searching the bus where they located a cooler with the name “Nelson” on the bus. There, officers found four empty beer cans and immediately administered a sobriety test, where Nelson’s breath sample was .056 BAC.
To operate a vehicle with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), you must have a 0.00 BAC. Officers then placed Nelson under arrest for operating a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of .04 or more with a minor or child.
The District did say they regret that the situation happened and that student safety is their highest priority. Nelson has been fired by Lamers Bus Lines and is due back in court on May 25.