Boozing Bus Driver Sentenced

By Steven Luke, Mari Payton and Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Sep 3, 2010  |  Updated 3:21 PM PDT
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Bus Passenger Describes Wild Ride

NBCSanDiego

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Pics: Transit Driver's Arrest

One passenger snapped photos when her bus driver was pulled over and given a field sobriety test during his route.

Bus Passenger Describes Wild Ride

A North County woman called 911 on Tuesday night to report her bus driver. Source: Bus Passenger Describes Wild Ride | NBC San Diego
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A San Diego County bus driver with a lengthy history of alcohol problems was sentenced to 90 days in jail for driving drunk on the job.
     
David Costello, 41, was also sentenced Friday to a 120-day alcohol-treatment program.

Costello was arrested in June after a rider on a First Transit bus called 911 to report that Costello was driving slowly, halting at empty bus stops and staggered off the bus to urinate, investigators said.

Authorities who stopped Costello between Oceanside and Encinitas said Costello had a blood-alcohol level of .25 percent -- more than six times the limit for commercial drivers.

Emily Knudsen was riding the bus on Route 309, which carries passengers between Oceanside and Encinitas along El Camino Real, heading to her job at BevMo in Encinitas. This trip, though, was weirder than usual for the young Carlsbad woman.

"I'm used to seeing crazies on the bus all the time, and people who are drunk or weird," Knudsen said at the time. "But, no, the bus drivers -- usually they're pretty normal."

A sheriff's deputy eventually stopped the North County Transit District bus and arrested Costello on suspicion of driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. There were eight passengers on the bus when it was pulled over in the 450 block of Encinitas Boulevard.

Costello pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges. He was been cited nine times since 2006 for various alcohol-related offenses in northern San Diego County.

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