Crime

Burton Carpenter's DUI arrest: Does school-bus driver's mug shot show how drunk he was?

While mug shots vary widely from community to community, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, they usually share one quality: The person they picture is centered in the frame.

Not so school-bust driver Burton Carpenter. In the image seen here, and in a larger version below, he appears to be supporting himself by leaning against a wall -- a possible indication of his condition when hitting another vehicle while ferrying a load of high school football players.

At about noon on Saturday, according to the Westminster Police Department, Carpenter, 57, was behind the wheel of a bus carrying 37 students and four adults from Brighton's Prairie View High School to Mountain Range High School.

The students were members of the Prairie View freshman football team, notes 7News. They had come to Mountain Range High for a game -- but what happened involving the bus was arguably more memorable.

The WPD reports that as Carpenter was pulling into the parking lot at Mountain Range, he sideswiped another car.

The damage to the vehicle smacked by the bus is described as minor. But shortly after police arrived at the scene, they took Carpenter into custody on suspicion of five separate misdemeanor charges: driving while under the influence, child abuse/posing threat or injury to a child, reckless endangerment, driving a vehicle with excessive alcohol in the blood and/or breath and careless driving.

At this point, the cops have not released results of Carpenter's blood-alcohol test, but 7News confirms that he has no priors. No denying he made quite a splash with his first arrest, however.

Here's a larger look at Carpenter's booking photo, followed by the 7News piece.

More from our News archive circa August 2012: "Jeremy Rice, ninth grader, averts bus crash...when driver falls out of seat."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts