Portage bus driver arrested after allegedly transporting children while drunk

2012-02-02T19:45:00Z Portage bus driver arrested after allegedly transporting children while drunkBy Lindsay Machak lindsay.machak@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | A Portage woman was arrested Thursday after driving drunk with a school bus full of fifth-graders during a field trip, police said.

Kolleen Lampa, 44, of Portage, failed four breath tests hours after pulling into a school lot, police said. She was arrested on two felony charges and three misdemeanor offenses, according to a police report.

Lampa was reported to school district officials after another school bus driver told them she could smell alcohol on Lampa's breath during an argument, the report states.

Lampa drove 44 fifth-grade students and two teachers about three miles from Myers Elementary School to Portage High School before parking her bus and having a "meltdown," a witness told police.

The witness, who was another school bus driver, contacted Portage Township Schools Transportation Supervisor David Harman after she suspected Lampa had been driving drunk. The witness successfully stopped Lampa from getting behind the wheel of the bus again, according to a police report.

Harman called police after speaking with Lampa and taking her to St. Mary's Occupational Heath in Portage, where she took two chemical tests for intoxication.

Lampa took the first test and was reported to have had a blood alcohol content of 0.139 about an hour and 15 minutes after her confrontation with the other bus driver, the report states.

She submitted a second test just before 11 a.m., with a result of 0.129, police said. Harman took Lampa back to the transportation building and called police.

As police questioned Lampa about the alcohol, she told a responding officer she hadn't drank that morning but had one glass of wine with her dinner the night before, according to the report.

Harman told officials he believed Lampa may have drove her normal morning bus route and the special field trip route while drunk, according to the report.

At the Portage Police Department, she submitted two more breath tests: one with a result of 0.057 and another about noon with a result of 0.09. The legal limit for driving in Indiana is 0.08.

Police confiscated Lampa's Indiana commercial driver's license, and she was arrested on one felony count and two misdemeanor counts of operating while intoxicated and a felony count of neglect of a dependent, the report states.

Lampa was released late Thursday afternoon after posting $1,000 bail, officials said.

Harman did not return a call for comment.

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