Lafayette

Dec 16, 2010 12:00 AM by Maddie Garrett

Drunk Driving Charges Still Pending for Bus Driver

Drunk driving charges are still pending for a Lafayette Parish bus driver, leaving his job up in the air. The Lafayette Parish School Board tabled the motion to return the bus driver to work at Wednesday night's meeting. Kenny Mire was arrested in October 2009 for driving while intoxicated off-duty. He was then suspended for a few days and has been on paid leave ever since.

The school board was supposed to vote Wednesday on whether or not to give him his job back. But decided to push back the decision because the District Attorney is still pursuing OWI charges against Mire.

But attorney Barry Sallinger says Mire should have never been arrested in the first place because the breathalizer test was invalid. Department of Public Safety State records show that Mire agreed to a breathalizer test the night he was pulled over. Records also show that the machine malfunctioned twice, and on the third breath test the trooper did not wait the 15 minutes required by law before giving the test. This makes the breathalizer results on which Mire was arrested invalid.

"There was not adequate proof to support a conviction as I see it and he has adhered to the regulations and laws of the State of Louisiana relative to his employment," said Mire.

But DA Mike Harson told KATC Wednesday night that even without the breath test, he still believes there is enough evidence to charge Mire with an OWI. The case should go to trial in March 2011. If it does not for some reason, Harson says he will re-file the charges. Meanwhile, Mire remains on leave with pay and the school board will vote after the litigation is over.

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