Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando superintendent recommends School Board fire bus driver who failed alcohol breath test

BROOKSVILLE — On the evening of Sept. 17, Barbara L. Price sat down for a light dinner and a couple of 16-ounce beers. After her meal, Price said she had three or four cocktails, the last one around 11 p.m.

This, according to her account of the evening in School District documents, is why her blood-alcohol level registered above the legal limit for commercial drivers just before 10 a.m. the next day — after she drove her morning school bus route.

Interim school superintendent Sonya Jackson has recommended that the 48-year-old Spring Hill resident be fired. The School Board will consider the recommendation at a special meeting Tuesday.

Under district policy, driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level earns a mandatory recommendation of termination. Bus drivers are forbidden from consuming alcohol within 12 hours of getting behind the wheel.

Price was assigned to Route 155, which services Spring Hill Elementary and Central High schools.

She started her pre-trip preparations Sept. 18 at 5:55 a.m., according to an investigation report. Price would later admit that she violated the so-called 12-hour rule, the report noted.

Price was selected for a random breath test after she returned to the bus depot. The first test at 9.55 a.m. showed a blood alcohol concentration of .057 percent. A second test a few minutes later showed .053 and a third, at 10:17, showed .043. Two more tests on a second breath testing machine completed within the next 45 minutes showed levels of .029 and .028.

The legal blood alcohol content limit in Florida for commercial drivers is .04 percent. The level for other drivers is .08.

Price was suspended with pay Sept. 22. pending an investigation. Jackson sent a letter Sept. 28 notifying Price that she would be recommending termination.

Price did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Tony Marrero can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando superintendent recommends School Board fire bus driver who failed alcohol breath test 10/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 5:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lefties are batting only .169 (12-for-71) off Dan Jennings this year. Lucas Duda hit .246 with 17 HRs and 37 RBIs for Mets.
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard (20), the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.