Arrested for seriously drunk school bus driving, he’s back in jail for showing up to court drunk


On February 9, Mark McNeill, a 60-year-old former bus driver for Flagler County Schools, was driving home 35 students from Buddy Taylor Middle School. He was driving drunk.

Two days earlier, his school bus had been involved in an accident in Section F while transporting 23 pupils from Old Kings Elementary School. He was at fault for that one – running a stop sign at Old Kings Road and Fanshawe Lane, and was cited.

In the February 9 incident, when he appeared drunk to bus depot workers before leaving with the bus, McNeill was charged with criminal neglect of a child, drunk driving with a BAC over 0.15 (the legal limit is 0.08) and resisting arrest. He was suspended from his job at the school district that month. He was fired on March 10.

On Monday, McNeill appeared in Bunnell Court before Circuit Judge Terence Perkins, reportedly to argue his case: The charging briefs filed by the state’s attorney’s office included more than a dozen names in connection of his charge of criminal negligence.

McNeill, by his own admission, was drunk again.

“I think you’re inebriated today, and I can’t take the plea,” Perkins told McNeill.

“I am sorry?”

“You’re inebriated,” Perkins repeated.

“No, I’m not,” snapped McNeill. “I’m not altered at all.” But he was clearly unsteady on his feet, clinging to the podium as he tried to stand in front of Perkins, next to his attorney, Anthony Duran Jr. (He said at one point he was sorry to driving while intoxicated and called it “a horrible mistake.”) The incident was first reported by Clair Metz of WESH 2 News.

A judge cannot accept a plea when the defendant is not in full control of his abilities. “Let’s go and get tested,” Perkins told McNeill, who snapped again, “I’m not getting tested.” So Perkins told him he was being sent back to jail, “because I think you’re inebriated,” the judge told him, as a bailiff handcuffed McNeill.

“I’m not weakened at all,” he said, his voice and body shaking. But he quickly conceded: “You know what? I am altered. His lawyer told him to stop talking.

Perkins revoked his $4,000 bond and McNeill had to take a urinalysis test (results not available). In March, his attorney filed a motion opposing the state’s attorney’s efforts to acquire his medical records, arguing that the records were irrelevant since McNeill had cooperated with law enforcement by providing a breathalyzer. . His behavior in court on Monday undermines that motion.

In the afternoon, McNeill drove the bus inebriated, Bus Garage officials were informed of his condition around 2 p.m., after he left. They called him on the bus radio to stop. He does not have. Some of them gave chase and eventually got him to stop at Seminole Woods. McNeill fell as he exited the bus. Flagler County Sheriff’s Deputies eventually arrived on the scene. He denied them that he had been drinking. He refused to perform field sobriety drills. His arrest report describes him as “very belligerent and aggressive towards law enforcement.”

When he took a breath test, he recorded 0.320 and 0.310, an extremely high level. “If you’re still conscious, you’re in a stupor,” says the College of St. Benedict’s “Understanding Blood Alcohol Content” page. “You probably have no idea where you are or what you’re doing. There have been many cases of alcohol poisoning and death in this blood alcohol range. You need medical help.

McNeill remains at the Flagler County Jail. His plea deal, which had not been disclosed prior to Monday’s incident, may have been overturned by the state’s attorney’s office: Although McNeill was postponed to a court appearance on Wednesday, he is recorded as a pre-trial, not a plea.

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