LEOMINSTER (CBS) – The state has taken action against the bus company responsible for hiring a driver police say drove drunk with a special needs student in the back.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles has ordered Ride Rite to take their 23 specialty buses off the road and pay a $2,300 fine if they want to operate again.

Van driver Michael Tantillo was supposed to take the 15-year-old boy from the Perkins School in Watertown to the student’s home in Clinton.

Instead, police say Tantillo drove around drunk for more than three hours with the teen in his van before finally showing up at his home at 8:30 p.m.

“The company failed to provide safe transportation and placed a child in jeopardy,” Rachel Kaprielian of the Registry of Motor Vehicles said. “The Registry has a zero tolerance policy to not adhering to the rules.”

Ride Rite did not comment on the ruling.

For now, towns are scrambling to find other ways for special needs students to get to school next week.


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