Yokosuka school bus driver cleared of DWI after investigation
January 12, 2009
An independent judge for Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, ruled last week that a Department of Defense Dependents Schools bus driver there committed no crime in attempting to drive students from the Ikego housing area to the naval base last month, according to base officials.
The man was immediately relieved of his driving duties after base security forces conducted a sobriety checkpoint Dec. 1 that indicated a possible presence of alcohol in the driver’s system.
Following an investigation, the reviewing officer ruled that the driver, whose name is not being released, was not guilty of driving while intoxicated.
According to Yokosuka’s chief staff officer, Cmdr. Emil Salansky, the initial checkpoint revealed “no actual reading that showed the blood-alcohol level” — only that there was a “trace of alcohol.”
“Security was being extra cautious in removing the driving privileges of the bus driver,” Salansky said Friday of the incident. “At no time were any of the children at risk, of course. We periodically do these sobriety checkpoints for the base for public safety. We’re very, very concerned with public safety.”
Both the unnamed Yokosuka school and the driver’s supervisor were notified immediately after the incident, Salansky said. He added that it’s unknown whether the driver could be reassigned to a different driving position on base.
Salansky said it is Yokosuka’s intention in the next month or so to begin conducting frequent Breathalyzer tests on bus drivers before they operate vehicles.