Union officials said on Wednesday that a COTA bus driver suspected by his supervisors of driving while under the influence was allowed to finish his route with dozens of passengers on board.
The driver, who 10TV News did not name because he has not been charged, resigned, 10TV’s Ashleigh Barry reported.
COTA officials said that supervisors were suspicious that the driver was under the influence of alcohol but were unable to confirm it.
Union president Andrew Jordan said that two COTA supervisors allowed the driver to drive even though they suspected that he had consumed alcohol.
“(It’s) unbelievable that a supervisor would put individuals, more than one, at risk,” Jordan said. “You don’t let that happen.”
Jordan said that the decision by two COTA supervisors to allow a bus driver they suspected of drinking to drive a bus through the city was irresponsible. He said that the incident occurred weeks ago when an employee showed up to work, and employees said that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.
“He should have had judgment to say, ‘Sit down and relax until we get someone to cover you,’” Jordan said. “He lets him drive, confirming the smell of alcohol.”
Jordan said that the supervisors allowed the bus driver to drive for about 45 minutes to an hour.
The union representative said that he was not aware of any complaints about swerving or erratic driving from passengers on board that day but said that the second supervisor should have never let the driver get behind the wheel, Barry reported.
The second supervisor called COTA headquarters after getting off of the bus. The bus driver was asked to take a Breathalyzer test, which COTA officials said the bus driver refused.
It was unknown if the supervisors would face any disciplinary action, Barry reported.
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