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EL bus driver accused of on-duty OVI

EAST LIVERPOOL — A city school bus driver was arrested on drunk driving charges Saturday shortly after he began transporting the boys varsity basketball team to an away game that evening.

Donald E. Goodwin, 62, Northside Avenue, East Liverpool, was arrested at 4:31 p.m. for OVI and reckless operation. He is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in East Liverpool Municipal Court.

According to police records, the coaches became concerned after the team boarded the bus at the high school and Goodwin took a bend too fast. Another coach then detected an odor of alcohol coming from him.

After calling Superintendent Jonathan Ludwig, they had Goodwin pull over at the Westgate Elementary School, which is about two miles from the high school. They were met at Westgate by Ludwig and the bus supervisor, and a substitute bus driver was contacted to take over so the Potters could make the game.

Meanwhile, police were dispatched to East Liverpool City Hospital to conduct field sobriety tests on Goodwin. The officer said he detected the smell of alcohol on him and noticed Goodwin had bloodshot watery eyes and his voice was raspy. Goodwin reportedly failed the field sobriety test and provided a .059 BAC on a breathalyzer, which exceeds the .04 BAC limit for commercial drivers. He also provided a blood sample and

tested .075, police said.

Ludwig verified Monday morning that Goodwin, who was not identified in the press statement issued by the school district, had been “relieved” of his duties pending a criminal investigation. He also sent out an automated call to all parents advising them of what had transpired.

“Words cannot express my heartfelt gratitude to the coaches, transportation director and substitute bus driver who all acted quickly in the name of the safety of the students on the bus. We are extremely proud of their response. Please know that district protocol was followed closely and all of our bus drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol screening,” Ludwig said.

Goodwin had been hired in July 2018 as a bus driver, according to school district records.

While this is his first OVI offense, according to court records, Goodwin has several traffic convictions, including speeding in 1996 and 2012, failure to yield when turning left in 2002 and failure to display legal plates in 2006.

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