Man arrested for illegally passing school bus while allegedly drunk

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z Man arrested for illegally passing school bus while allegedly drunkStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LAPORTE | A LaPorte school bus stopped to let children off Monday afternoon was passed by an alleged drunk driver.

According to LaPorte police, the incident resulted in the arrest of Augustin Pineda, 29.

"It's just another case where alcohol impaired a person's driving judgment and he made a bad decision," said LaPorte Police Department Capt. Tom Heath.

Officer Joe Blake witnessed the bus stop Monday about 3:30 p.m. on Pine Lake Avenue. The red flashing lights on the bus were activated and the stop sign arm extended out from the bus when Pineda veered around a line of vehicles behind the bus and passed the bus on the left.

Blake said he turned around and began going after Pineda who stopped, not beside the road, but straddling the center line of the four-lane highway.

An odor of alcohol was detected on Pineda's breath and two open cans of beer were spotted on the floorboard of his 1998 Chevrolet Blazer, police said.

The LaPorte man was arrested with an alleged .08-percent blood alcohol level.

Heath said in many cases drivers must be seen passing a stopped school bus by an officer to be arrested. If not seen by an officer, witnesses must be found and testimony taken from those witnesses to build a strong enough case, which isn't guaranteed.

Pineda was also cited for driving without a license and passing the school bus, police said.

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