School Bus Driver Arrested for OUI in Tyngsborough, Mass.

A school bus driver was arrested on OUI charges.

(Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

A school bus driver was arrested in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts earlier this week after she was allegedly found drunk inside of her bus while parked at a restaurant.

Debra Cloutier, 57, of Tyngsborough is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and not having a license in her possession.

Debra Cloutier, a school bus driver in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, is accused of operating under the influence of alcohol.

(Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

Officers were alerted just before 4 p.m. on Monday by a report of a haphazardly parked school bus in the parking lot of a pizza shop on Middlesex Road. The initial report stated that the driver appeared to be intoxicated.

Upon arrival, officers found the driver sitting inside of the full-size yellow school bus eating food. No one else was in the bus at the time, according to police.

A woman was arrested in Tyngsborough Friday for allegedly operating a school bus while under the influence. 

(Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

"It's so upsetting to me," said a mother whose son was dropped off by the bus driver earlier that day. "If I saw her I would have a lot of questions of her."

That mother, who does not want to be identified, says Cloutier even missed her son's bus stop about 45 minutes before the arrest.

"She dropped my son off 10 minutes before three," said the woman. "Initially she missed the stop, she took a right instead of a left, he called up to her and said you missed my stop."

The bus is owned by the Christianson Bus Company of Chelmsford. Officers contacted the company and learned that the bus had been scheduled to pick up students at the Innovation Academy in Tyngsborough just before 3:30 p.m. that day, but had never showed up.

According to her driving record, obtained by NBC10 Boston, Cloutier refused to take a chemical test. Her CDL has been revoked for one year.

"It could have ended very badly," said the mother whose son was a passenger earlier that day. "We can consider it lucky that she did pull into that pizza shop and the owner was on the ball and knew something was going on because if she'd gotten those kids who knows what would have happened."

The Christianson Bus Company only works with two private schools in Tyngsborough, and does not work with Tyngsborough Public Schools.

Police do not believe that any school children were transported by Cloutier on Monday while she was allegedly intoxicated.

It's unclear if Cloutier, who was arraigned on Tuesday, has an attorney. NBC10 Boston made several attempts to reach her, but there was no response Friday.

The incident remains under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call Tyngsborough police at 978-649-7504 ext. 131.