NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The driver of a school bus charged with DUI admitted to investigators he consumed three-quarters of a gallon of bourbon the night before he was arrested, an incident report states.
Brent Patrick Carter, 50, was arrested and charged with SUI and child endangerment shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres. The Berkeley County School District released a statement on Tuesday stating that Carter was no longer an employee following his arrest.
When troopers pulled the bus over, Carter was asked to step down and out of the bus to speak with them and he failed to put the bus in park as he did so, causing it to roll back and nearly strike the trooper's vehicle, the report states.
The report states Carter appeared unsteady on his feet and had food spilled on his shirt. He had also spilled a drink near the driver's seat and it had also spilled down the stairs, troopers say.
Carter appeared lethargic with slow, slurred speech, the report states. His pupils were unusually small and his eyes bloodshot, the report states.
Carter initially denied having consumed alcohol, an incident report states. Troopers reported detecting a sweet-smelling odor on his breath that smelled like an alcoholic beverage. Carter said he had taken medication that morning; the name of the medication was redacted from the incident report.
Troopers requested EMS come to test his blood sugar, but it was within the normal range, the report states.
The report states the trooper considered Carter "extremely impaired" and placed him under arrest. After being arrested and read his Miranda rights, he provided a breath sample of .18, more than twice the legal limit, troopers say. He also then stated he consumed approximately three-quarters of a gallon of bourbon the night before and had taken medication at noon, the report states.
Troopers initiated a traffic stop after seeing the bus traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of S.C. 34 in Newberry County without headlights.
The stop was performed as the bus got onto the eastbound entrance ramp to Interstate 26, Beres said.
One of the chaperones on the bus told troopers Carter's driving was so bad that she and others on the bus were afraid. The chaperone said Carter kept running off the road and driving on the rumble strips on the interstate, the report states. She told troopers she had ridden with him many other times and she had never seen him in this condition before.
The students were turned over to Berkeley County school officials and DSS was notified.
The Berkeley Co. School District released the following statement:
Mr. Brent Carter is no longer an employee of the Berkeley County School District (BCSD). Mr. Carter's employment with BCSD ended on February 21, 2017.
Mr. Carter was employed by BCSD for 13 years, beginning in August 2003. Over the course of his employment, Mr. Carter worked as a study hall aide, an in school suspension aide, a computer lab assistant and a B team football coach for Goose Creek High School.
All BCSD employees are subject to the highest standards of background clearance, to include a SLED and sex offender registry check. Any employee who seeks to operate a school bus is required to pass an additional layer of clearance that includes driver trainings, a 3-year MVR review and a pre-employment drug test. Additionally, any employee approved to operate a school bus is subject to random drug testing and must receive certification from the South Carolina State Department of Education to operate a school bus with children present.
Appropriate Berkeley County School District personnel are fully cooperating with law enforcement and will not be providing additional details or statements concerning the ongoing investigation.