Former Somers School Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Driving Drunk With Students On Board

A former Somers Central School District bus driver has pleaded guilty to driving drunk with several students in the vehicle, according to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

Somers resident William Mendez, 62, appeared in Westchester County Court before Judge Melissa Loeher on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to Leandra’s Law, a class E felony related to driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. Mendez was a bus driver assigned to Somers Intermediate School at the time of his arrest.

Around 4 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2019, school officials had been notified by a parent that Mendez was “acting strange” while driving children home, the release states. The district’s director of transportation called Royal Coach Lines Somers Dispatch to have the driver cease operations and drove to the location, where he was met by two Royal Coach employees.

Upon arriving at Stephanie Lane, Mendez was relieved of his duties and taken to Northern Westchester Hospital for evaluation, the release states, where lab reports revealed Mendez had a blood alcohol content level of 0.22 percent.

In conjunction with the school district and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police launched an investigation. Assistant District Attorney Michael D’Addario, Chief of the Pleadings Bureau in the Superior Court Trial Division, prosecuted the case.

Mendez was released on his own recognizance, according to the District Attorney’s Office. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 20, 2021.