Calcasieu bus driver charged with DWI is out of jail

Brandi Hood (Source: CPSO)
Brandi Hood (Source: CPSO)

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A bus driver in Calcasieu Parish is out of jail after being charged with a first offense DWI.  Deputies say she drove to the wrong school Wednesday morning.

Brandi Hood, 32, of Carlyss bonded out of the Calcasieu Correctional Center Wednesday afternoon.  The sheriff's office received a call around 6:30 a.m. that a bus driver was driving erratically on Elliot Road in south Lake Charles.

Hood had already pulled the bus into St. John's Elementary School, which is not her normal route. According to deputies, Hood's normal route is picking up and dropping off students at Barbe Elementary School.

"She was too impaired for the deputies to even do a field sobriety test," said Sheriff Tony Mancuso with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

Authorities performed a breath intoxilyzer test on Hood where her reading was .000. At that point, deputies took Hood to the hospital to draw blood in order to perform a toxicology report.

Hood told authorities she had taken Soma and Loracet pills that she stated were prescription medicine.

Sheriff Mancuso said it does not matter if the drugs are prescription or not, however, there is no excuse for driving impaired.

"If they're some type of narcotic drug that impairs your driving you can still be charged with a DWI," said Sheriff Tony Mancuso. "It doesn't necessarily have to be alcohol."

Milton Ryan lives near the area where authorities said Hood was spotted driving erratically. Ryan also has two nephews who ride the school bus in Calcasieu Parish.

"You got all them kids on the bus and if the bus driver is under the influence, that's just not right," said Ryan.

Fortunately, no students were on the bus that Hood was driving on Wednesday morning.

Hood remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center with a bond set at $750.

The Calcasieu Parish School System said they have launched an investigation into the matter. However, they cannot give further comment on the bus driver.

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