A bus driver admitted he drove drunk in the Lower Hudson Valley with children on the bus.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

On Tuesday, 62-year-old William Mendez of Somers pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated with children in a vehicle, At the time, Mendez was driving a school bus for the Somers Central School District with young children on board.

Mendez appeared in Westchester County Court and pleaded guilty to Leandra’s Law, a class E felony related to driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.

On Dec. 9, 2019, New York State Police responded to help emergency medical service personnel at the Somers Central School District School bus garage for reports of a possible stroke. The school district was notified by a parent that the bus driver, Mendez, was acting strangely.

There were 44 children on board at the time, grades 3 through 5, ABC reports.

The Somers Central School District Director of Transportation immediately called Royal Coach Lines Somers Dispatch to have the driver cease operations and drove to the bus' location, where he was met by two Royal Coach employees. Mendez was relieved of his duties and later transported to Northern Westchester Hospital for evaluation by Somers Volunteer Fire Department Ambulance Corp.

State Police then began investigating the incident with the cooperation of the Somers Central School District. With the help of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, a search warrant was signed to obtain a biological sample from Mendez.

Lab analysis was completed and revealed Mendez’s blood alcohol content was 0.22%, police say.

Mendez was subsequently arrested for operating a school bus with children under 16-years-old on board while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. He was charged with aggravated DWI Leandra's Law, a felony.

Mendez was released on his own recognizance after pleading guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 20