School bus driver caught over the drink-drive limit
A bus driver, whose vehicle was laden with primary school children, has been found guilty of being in charge of a vehicle while over the drink-drive limit.
David Papworth, a professional driver with over 30 years of experience, failed a breath test after being stopped in Kington Langley, Wiltshire, while dropping children off at a local primary school.
Papworth, 54, from Wootton Bassett, was found to have 40 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes – when he was stopped driving the single-decker bus in January of this year.
The experienced driver claimed he had been at a football match the night before and had not eaten anything for breakfast.
According to The Swindon Advertiser, District judge Simon Cooper said: "You are a man with a long and unblemished driving career. This was drinking the night before. It remains in your system. It has an effect.
"Driving through a narrow village with cars parked on each side at that time of the morning, and these buses are not small, they're large.
"There is potential to cause serious damage."
The court also heard that he had been driving HGVs since 1982 and had a clean licence. Papworth immediately resigned from his job following his arrest.
Kim Brereton, defending, said: "He hadn't eaten anything and he's not a heavy drinker, so it probably affected him more than someone who had had a heavy meal and drinks regularly."
Papworth was handed a 16-month driving disqualification, which will be reduced to 14-months should he complete a drink-driver course. He was also fined £120.