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Bus driver arrested for DUI on her way to get kids

A Long County school bus driver was arrested for DUI shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday while on her way to pick up students, according to Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles.

Nobles said there were no children on the bus when Linda Combs, 51, of Jesup, was arrested and is charged with DUI and weaving over the roadway on Highway 84 in Long County.

The woman reportedly was under the influence of prescription drugs, including Xanax. She was taken to Tattnall County Jail.

Long County Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said he could not comment on Combs’ arrest because it is a personnel matter.

According to a Long County Sheriff’s Department incident report, Long County Deputy Su Li was at stop light in front of a gas station on Highway 84 when a man warned him that a bus turning onto Highway 301 from 84 nearly hit a guard rail and the driver was having trouble staying on the road.

Li began to follow the bus and witnessed the vehicle weaving on the road, his report said, so he pulled the bus over and when he spoke to Combs he suspected her of being under the influence. Li then called in another deputy, Derek Howard.

According to the report Combs had a hard time walking when she got out of the bus and at times used the school bus to support herself. She also allegedly failed a field sobriety test.

The report said during the test Combs had difficulty following the tip of Howard’s finger. “Linda had a difficult time following the tip of my finger and I had to get her attention a few times,” the deputy wrote.

According to the report, Combs was unable to keep her right foot in front of her left heel to toe almost falling several times.  At one point according to the report Howard told Combs, “We wouldn’t attempt to try that test due to the level of her intoxication.”

Combs was also unable to perform the one leg stand test, according to the report.

Combs also was unable to walk a straight line and had trouble keeping her balance, the report said.

Howard then asked Combs what type of medication she had been taking.  Combs said she had taken a medication named Gabapentin, the report said, then Combs told the deputy she had taken Xanax and Soma the night before.  Howard reportedly determined Combs was under the influence of Xanax.

Another driver was brought in to pick up the kids, according to the incident report.

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