Pinellas school bus driver charged with DUI had clean record

Dorothy Burse

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman in charge of getting children home safe from school is accused of driving a Pinellas school bus while under the influence of a controlled substance.

Dorothy Burse was arrested Tuesday afternoon after troopers said someone rear-ended her.

A trooper thought something was off, gave Burse a field sobriety test, and she failed.

Her husband said the charges are bogus. “She’s almost a saint. She don’t drink, she don’t smoke, she don’t do nothing. She’s been with children, she’s got three of her own,” said William Burse.

Her daughter was also in court and insisted the same thing. “My mom doesn’t do anything.”

Since it’s an ongoing investigation, the district isn’t saying much.

“Any time we have any accident occur on one of our roadways with one of our Pinellas County school buses, it’s very concerning to us,” said Lisa Wolf, Pinellas County Schools spokeswoman.

According to the district’s school bus driver handbook, their policy says bus drivers must take and pass a drug test before they’re hired.  There’s also random drug testing every quarter.

“Mrs. Burse previously had a clean driving history and a clean record with our district,” said Wolf.

That’s the way it’ll stay, if you ask her husband. “As soon as I get her out, I got to take her to the school board to get another drug test and she’ll pass with flying colors because she don’t do nothing,” said William Burse.

Right now, that bus driver is still employed with the district and will be until this investigation is complete.

The judge granted Burse a $5,500 bond Wednesday for her DUI charge and child neglect charge but said if she bonded out, she could not operate a school bus.

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