Friday, May 28, 2010

Ex-Mount Prospect school bus driver pleads 'not guilty' to DUI

A former Mount Prospect school bus driver who was accused of transporting about 50 students while she was drunk pleaded “not guilty” today to felony DUI charges.

Betty Burden, 54, entered her plea at her arraignment in Rolling Meadows.

The onetime school bus driver for Mount Prospect District 57 was charged March 9 when police stopped her bus just after she had finished her seven-mile route delivering elementary school students to their homes.

Her blood-alcohol level when she was stopped was .226 percent, authorities said. In Illinois, .08 percent is the standard to be charged with drunk driving.

Burden also failed a field-sobriety test after her bus was stopped, authorities have said.

Her lawyer, Ernest Blomquist, indicated today he likely would challenge the blood-alcohol results.

Cook County prosecutors turned over videotape to Blomquist from a squad-car camera that shows how Burden was driving before police pulled her over. The video also shows Burden’s field-sobriety test.

Burden, who is free on bail, was fired by the school district shortly after her arrest.

If convicted, she could be sentenced to as much as three years in prison.

No comments: