National News

Bus driver caught driving while intoxicated pleads not guilty

Posted November 1, 2017 11:42 a.m. EDT

— Former Walton County school bus driver Carole Ann Etheridge plead not guilty to DUI in probate court, despite the fact that dash cam video shows her driving a school bus erratically.

The incident and subsequent not guilty plea has outraged many parents.

"She's guilty, she's 100 percent guilty and especially with children's lives," says Tanya Ramirez.

Police arrested Etheridge at Loganville Middle School in August after a school resource officer said she blew a .089 on her initial breathalyzer test – more than double the legal limit for bus drivers.

Plus, they found bottles of liquor in her purse.

The CBS46 investigation found that this is Etheridge's first drunk driving charge.

She was fired from Gwinnett County Schools earlier this year for failing to report an accident while driving a school bus.

"I shake just thinking about it and seeing her picture know she could have killed my child and Walton County allowed her to drive a school bus," said Katrina Drlik.

Etheridge make it clear in court that she is aware of the charges she is facing and at no time did she apologize.

"If she endangered the lives of all those children she definitely doesn't need to be driving a school bus," says Fred Lacy.

Ally Jackson has a brother who was on the bus.

"There needs to be consequences for her actions," he says.

In a couple of weeks Etheridge and her legal team will meet with prosecutors to determine the next step in the case.

If a plea deal is not reached, Etheridge could select a bench trial or a jury trial.