Bus passengers force driver off road


If you're foolish enough to drive drunk, don't take 40 police officers along for the ride.

That's the predicament a New York area charter bus driver found himself in recently, police said.

Last Friday, 40 New York City police officers chartered a bus to attend the Orioles-Yankees baseball game here.

About 3 a.m. Saturday, on the way back to New York, the bus was weaving across the lanes of northbound Interstate 95, running vehicles off the road, according to Maryland state police.

The officers tried several times to get the driver to stop but he told them it was against federal regulations to do so along an interstate highway, state police said.

In desperation, the officers told the driver that several passengers were ill and that he should stop at the nearest service station to get help, according to state police. When the bus pulled into a service station on Route 543 near Bel Air in Harford County, one of the officers called state police.

Trooper Benjamin M. Jackson, of the John F. Kennedy Barracks, who responded, found the officers, badges dangling from their belts, standing outside the bus.

"They [the officers] said the bus driver was drunk and had run several vehicles off I-95 while weaving back and forth across the road," Trooper Jackson said. "His [the bus driver's] speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He had all of the symptoms of a drunk driver."

After a Breathalyzer test confirmed that the driver was intoxicated, Woodrow Wilson Jackson, 53, of Staten Island, N.Y., was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and negligent driving, the trooper said.

Trooper Jackson said the bus driver told him him that he had downed a few beers at a Baltimore restaurant while waiting for the ballgame to end.

After an hour's wait for another driver, the officers resumed their trip back to New York.

Woodrow Jackson was held at the Harford County Detention Center for a few hours then released on his own recognizance, the trooper said.

The incident caused no accidents and no injuries.

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