Tennessee Bus Driver Found Drinking in Bus Behind Church

A woman in Tennessee is behind bars after police arrested her for being intoxicated inside her school bus before she was supposed to pick up school children.

The bus driver, 39-year-old Cheryl Hembree, is a driver for the Cocke County school district and was found by authorities inside her school bus drunk, WBIR reported.

Sheriff Armando Fontes revealed in a statement that the incident happened about 2:30 p.m. on Monday behind a Presbyterian Church. Police were tipped off when a person called, saying they were concerned that someone on the bus was consuming alcohol.

When police arrived they found Hembree, from Parrottsville, in the bus while the engine was running and she was seen consuming a 24-ounce bottle of beer.

When police asked Hembree to participate in a breathalyzer test, she complied, and police found that she had a blood alcohol level of .09- more than the .08 legal limit to operate a vehicle in Tennessee.

"I thank the officers for a job well done and the school system for their dedication in protecting our community's children," Fontes read in a statement.

After the breathalyzer test results were recorded, Hembree was taken into custody and booked in the Cocke County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

She has since been charge with DUI and violating the state's Open Container Law, but she did not have any children on the bus, which would have resulted in far more charges being levied against her, not to mention putting the children's lives at risk.

But Sheriff Fontes is grateful police arrived when they did, because the situation had the potential to be far worse than it actually looked. Hembree was on her way to pick up students from Cocke County High School.