School bus driver Burton Carpenter to be sentenced for DUI

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A school bus driver who admitted to driving drunk with a busload of football players is scheduled to be sentenced Friday afternoon.

Burton Carpenter, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of DUI and one count of knowing or reckless child abuse.

Carpenter was arrested Sept. 21 with a blood alcohol content of 0.213.

He was transporting members of the Mountain Range High School freshman football team from a game at Prairie View High School in Brighton when his bus hit a parked vehicle as he was entering the parking lot at Mountain Range.

There were 37 students and four adults on the bus.

No injuries were reported.

Witnesses told police of a frightening 10-mile, post-game return trip from Prairie View High School to Mountain Range High School.

Coach Keith Chavez said Carpenter failed to stop at railroad crossing at on 120th Avenue, almost hit a vehicle while changing lanes and needed to be directed to the Mountain Range parking lot, according to an arrest affidavit.

Coach Bryan McClure said the bus driver was straddling both lanes of traffic for most of trip home. A couple in a car following the bus also said Carpenter was driving erratically.

Carpenter was so unstable on his feet, when he tried to exit the bus he stumbled down the stairs, catching himself on the side of the bus, the officer wrote in the affidavit.

The officer wrote that Carpenter was unable to perform a voluntary roadside sobriety test and the officer stopped it for the man's safety.

Carpenter had worked for the district since July 2012, according to Adams 12 spokeswoman Melissa Hoelting.

He was suspended by the district after his arrest and was fired on Oct. 9.