A 42-year-old South Elgin woman is being held on $10,000 bond after she was accused of driving a school bus while drunk on Friday, officials said.
Jill Beebe, of the 600 block of Sunbury Road, was charged with one count of aggravated DUI. She appeared in bond court Friday afternoon before Judge Terence Sheen, according to DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin.
"The mere allegation that a school bus driver responsible for the lives of dozens of young children would even consider getting behind the wheel of a bus after they had been drinking is unconscionable," Berlin said in the release.
West Chicago police Friday morning met Beebe at one of her pickup stops after a school employee thought she smelled alcohol on Beebe. The school employee was talking to Beebe about an unrelated matter while she was dropping off students at a school, according to a news release.
The woman notified the principal, who in turn notified the bus company. Beebe was ordered to stop operating the bus and then the police arrived. After administering field sobriety tests, they took her into custody.
If convicted of her class 4 felony, Beebe could be sentenced to up to three years in an Illinois prison.
"I would like to thank authorities at the school for reporting what they saw, the bus company for their cooperation and the West Chicago Police Department for their quick response to the situation," Berlin said. "Because of their actions, perhaps a heartbreaking crisis has been averted. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau for her efforts on this case."
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.