Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alaska: Cruise-Ship Passengers Call Police When Tour Bus Driver Observed Intoxicated

The driver of a tour bus transferring cruise-ship passengers in Alaska was arrested on Friday (June 14) after numerous passengers reported to the Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST), that their driver was highly intoxicated and driving erratically.

Steven McKinley, age unknown, a seasonal worker staying in Anchorage, was arrested on one count of driving under the influence and 46 counts of reckless endangerment, one for each passenger.

Troopers said passengers called shortly before 0900 hours on Friday to say that the intoxicated driver wouldn’t pull over. “They complained that he was driving erratically, that he was weaving all over the road,” according to AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. 
About 20 minutes later, passengers called again and said the driver had pulled over and was walking north at milepost 12 of the Seward Highway.

COMMENT: The cruise-ship passengers on the bus ranged in age from two to retirement age.

McKinley’s blood alcohol level registered at .341, more than eight times a commercial driver’s legal limit of .04. 

McKinley was a new driver for Anchorage-based Alaska Cruise Transfer and Tours, which sent out another driver to transport the passengers.

When he was hired earlier this month, McKinley passed a drug and alcohol test, said Anna Lewis, a spokeswoman for the transport company, although the intoxicated driver was summarily terminated for cause on Friday.

As I have said so often over the years, tour bus passengers anywhere should be observant of the driving skills and sobriety of drivers and always have the phone number of the transport company available in the event a problem develops with a driver.