Just a couple of hours east of Utica, a suburb in Rochester suffered an odd incident last week, which endangered students' lives.

A bus driver in the Gates Chili Central School District faces criminal charges after she was found to be driving a bus under the influence with students aboard. The incident occurred Friday last week and is under further investigation by local police. The BAC of the driver, 29-year-old Lashonda Griffin, was determined to be above the legal limit in New York state.

RochesterFirst.com reported there were "six students on the bus, according to district officials, who add that the driver will be charged with five counts of Leandra’s Law violations for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a person under the age of 16 in the vehicle."

Other sources reported the ages of the children ranged from five to 16 years old.

Griffin was found passed out behind the wheel in the bus garage and unresponsive. At that point there were no students on the bus.

David Ferris’ daughter Mariah was onboard and said the bus driver told the kids ‘we’re going to stop at McDonald’s quick, don’t tell nobody.'” says Mariah. An exchange student staying with the Ferris family was also onboard used her cell phone to shoot a video as they were all leaving McDonald’s.

Part of the report in RochesterFirst.com included this statement from the school:

The safety of students and employees is the district’s top priority, and we are very grateful that no one was harmed as a result of this individual’s actions. The families of the students who were on the bus have already been notified. As a result, if you have not been notified, then it was not your child’s bus or bus driver involved in this situation.

First time offenders of Leandra’s Law, also known as the Child Passenger Protection Act, can be charged with a class E felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison.

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