Bus driver disputes DUI
Attorney: Tests show she wasn't intoxicated driving kids
Hugh G. Willett, knoxnews.com
Blood tests show that a Loudon school bus driver accused
of driving a bus with children while under the influence of prescription
drugs is not guilty of the charges, her attorney says.
Vicky Lynn Kwasny, 47, was arrested and charged with DUI and child
endangerment in September after being found unresponsive behind the
wheel of a school bus. She is pleading not guilty to the charges, said
Lenoir City attorney Gary Fox.
Kwasny appeared in Loudon County general sessions court Wednesday. Her
case was continued until March 18.
Although Kwasny admitted to arresting officers that she was taking the
prescription muscle relaxant Soma, Fox said that upon reviewing results
of blood and breathalyzer tests released by TBI, it is clear Kwasny was
not under the influence.
"The breathalyzer test came back zero," he said. "The blood results came
back within the minimum therapeutic limits."
Fox said there are a number of previously unrevealed facts that point to
Kwasny's lack of impairment on the day in question. She had already
delivered one busload of children that same morning without incident, he
While driving the second load of children to the elementary school,
Kwasny began feeling ill and decided to pull the bus off the road into a
church parking lot, he said.
"She did as she was trained to do," Fox said.
A member of Loudon County Fire and Rescue spotted the bus stopped in the
parking lot and alerted police. Officer Dwayne Williams responded to the
call and said he found Kwasny unresponsive behind the wheel and unable
to stand without assistance.
Loudon Police Chief James "Bear" Webb said that he believes there is
sufficient evidence to justify the charge of DUI and reckless
In addition to the presence of drugs in Kwasny's system, other evidence,
including the testimony of the children on the bus and the report of the
arresting officer, supports the charges, Webb said.
During a school board hearing on the issue, it was revealed that several
weeks before the incident, a physician gave Kwasny the go-ahead to
continue driving, despite the fact that a Loudon police officer and
school board member had warned school officials that he suspected she
had a drug problem.
Kwasny did not test positive for any illegal drugs and admitted to the
physician that she had been taking Soma under prescription. According to
school board member Craig Simon, Kwasny should not have been operating a
commercial vehicle while taking the medication.
During a subsequent review of school department policy, it was decided
that bus drivers should inform the school department of any prescription
medication they are using.
District Attorney General Russell Johnson's office did not respond to a
request for comment on the case.