School bus driver pleads not guilty to DWI

Robert Stundis, 48, of Bohemia, was arrested on

Robert Stundis, 48, of Bohemia, was arrested on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated, after his unoccupied mini school bus was pulled over on the LIE, according to a police statement. (Oct. 10, 2012) Photo Credit: SC sheriffs

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A school bus driver from Bohemia pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of dropping kids off while drunk before getting pulled over on the Long Island Expressway while driving with a blown-out tire.

Robert Stundis, 48, is accused in a 21-count indictment of multiple counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child and other charges. Suffolk County Court Judge James F.X. Doyle ordered him held on bail of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Michelle Chiuchiolo said Stundis, a driver for Acme Bus Co., picked up six students from an elementary school in the Three Village Central School District.

"All six of these kids indicate the defendant was acting strange," Chiuchiolo said. Stundis almost got into an accident with the children on board and drove over a curb at one child's bus stop, she said.

Eventually, he was pulled over after motorists noticed him driving erratically with one tire flat or gone, Chiuchiolo said. "The defendant was completely out of it when he was pulled over," she said.

He admitted having vodka for lunch and had a half-empty bottle in the school bus' console, she said. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol content of .23 percent, almost three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Defense attorney Daniel Driscoll asked Doyle for a lower bail, noting that his client has lived in the same house for more than 40 years and takes care of a disabled brother there. Stundis is due back in court Dec. 11.

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: