Indiana Woman Charged With Driving School Bus Drunk

Kolleen Lampa's BAC at one point registered at .139 percent, police report says

By Jeff Goldblatt
|  Friday, Feb 3, 2012  |  Updated 11:19 PM CDT
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Kolleen Lampa, 44, of Portage, Ind., is accused of being drunk while driving her normal morning bus route and then driving 44 fifth-graders and two teachers about three miles from Myers Elementary School to Portage High School.

Kolleen Lampa, 44, of Portage, Ind., is accused of being drunk while driving her normal morning bus route and then driving 44 fifth-graders and two teachers about three miles from Myers Elementary School to Portage High School.

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An Indiana woman was arrested and charged Thursday with DUI after transporting a bus full of kids on a field trip.

Kolleen Lampa, 44, of Portage, Ind., is accused of being drunk while driving her normal morning bus route and then driving 44 fifth-graders and two teachers about three miles from Myers Elementary School to Portage High School.

The incident came to light after another school bus driver said she had a disagreement with Lampa over parking spaces and smelled alcohol on her breath, a police report states.

That other driver reported Lampa to their supervisor, who in turn took Lampa to St. Mary Medical Center. She failed two chemical tests there, the report said, with her blood alcohol concentration at one point registering .139 percent, well above Indiana's .08 limit for legal intoxication, the report said.

A third test was conducted at the police department at about noon, roughly three hours after the field trip. Her blood-alcohol concentration at that time was .09 percent, the report said.

"Miss Lampa advised me that she had not consumed any beverages that contain alcohol at any point during the day. She advised that the last alcoholic beverage she consumed was on [Wednesday]. She advised at that time she consumed one glass of wine with her dinner," Officer John Wright wrote in his report.

Wright noted that he "clearly detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath" and said Lampa's "speech was slurred" and her eyes "appeared bloodshot and watery."

Jeff King, the principal of Myers Elementary School, declined to comment, but Parent Staff Organization President Jennifer Gonzalez said the incident was handled well.

"[Police and school officials] were on top of it. They handled it right away and the right way," she said. "Of course, as parents we're appalled, but we're confident in our school board that they are handling this in an appropriate fashion."

Lampa is charged with a felony count and two misdemeanor counts of operating while intoxicated and a felony count of neglect of a dependent. She posted $1,000 bail Thursday afternoon.

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