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Louisburg bus driver suspected of driving students while under the influence

Posted November 20, 2014

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— A school bus driver in Louisburg has been suspended after she allegedly drove students to school while under the influence of alcohol.

A Franklin County Schools spokesman said Thursday that Barbara Thorne, who drives Bus 196 to Terrell Lane Middle School, is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the school district.

Police Chief Rick Lassiter said Thorne had a blood alcohol level of 0.10 when officers took her into custody around 10:30 a.m. In North Carolina, any blood alcohol content above 0.04 is illegal for drivers with a commercial driver's license.

"She had actually already arrived at the school and unloaded her chidlren," Lassiter said.

Thorne, 63, of 824 Trinity Church Road, Louisburg, had dropped off students when an assistant principal smelled alcohol on her and notified a school resource officer, Lassiter said.

The school resource officer then called police.

Lassiter said police received no reports of any driving issues and that authorities are still investigating the case. That might include looking at any video or any GPS device on the bus.

The school system said Thorne has been employed by the school system for 12 years, but it declined to comment on the case, saying only that its priority is the well-being of its students.

"School officials work tirelessly to ensure the continued safety of every student – incidents such as this do not represent the dedication and integrity of Franklin County Schools' faculty and staff," the district said. "We are fortunate to report no students were injured as a result of this incident."

74 Comments

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  • 678devilish Nov 24, 2014

    Schools needs to really check all bus drives for illegal drug use and alcohol. They should be tested periodically making sure our children are safe to ride these busses with these drivers. Of course if they are doing illegal drugs or drinking alcohol, our children would not be safe.

  • babylaceycarpenter Nov 24, 2014

    Dude might as well start putting in applications for jobs, while he can still say no to the question about being convicted of a crime.

  • disgusted2010 Nov 21, 2014

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    So you would deny this person their due process rights?

  • Chase Truman Nov 21, 2014
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    That isn't something to be proud of.

  • momeeee Nov 21, 2014

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    Amen! I say the blood alcohol test equals a firing same as if you or I came to work drunk!

  • ncprr1 Nov 21, 2014

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    Tell me about it...bottoms up!

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Nov 21, 2014

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    Hard core alcoholics can't wait until evening.

  • jonesmw Nov 21, 2014

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    \

    Actually it's a sad commentary on how people like you who are so focused on minimizing their tax bill rob the schools of financial support. When you have no money and have to pay rock bottom wages you get rock bottom employees.

  • iopsyc Nov 21, 2014

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    In fairness, the 0.10 reading was 90 minutes after the principal had a suspicion and called the cops.

  • diana123 Nov 21, 2014

    WHAT a fool! should have waited until the evening. now jobless and maybe homeless

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