School Bus Driver Needs Tennessee DUI Class

by: Mike Miller

As a parent I can tell you that one of your greatest fears always is the safety of your children. You would like to think they are safe aboard a large school bus. Thinking that the driver of the bus may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol is terrifying.

Parents in Cocke County, Tennessee have to feel relief that their children never were in danger. It was averted at the last minute as the school bus driver was arrested for operating a bus while intoxicated. As reported in

Cheryl Hembree after deputies found her drinking a beer inside a running school bus.

The 39-year-old was a driver for Cocke County High School. She was arrested just 15 minutes before she was set to take a busload of students home.

Police had been alerted to the situation by a concerned citizen who witnessed Hembree into a convenience store, buy a can of beer and get back into the school bus.

Police spotted the bus in a church parking lot next door to the store, with Hembree sitting in the front seat drinking the beer. She quickly ditched the 24-ounce can of natural Ice (higher alcohol content) beer and jumped into the driver’s seat and started the engine. Police entered before she could drive off and noticed the nearly empty beer can on the floor.

Her excuse for drinking in the bus – she was nervous and needed a drink to calm her. Hembree's blood alcohol content was .09.

For me, it's really sickening to know that you can't even trust a school bus driver to get your children home safely without facing DUI charges. It's pitiful. I'm just glad they caught in time before she was actually en route with those children.