Charter bus driver charged with DUI during high school graduation trip to Daytona Beach

HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. — A charter bus driver is facing dozens of charges after deputies say he got behind the wheel drunk with more than 30 passengers, including minors, on board.


According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, 55-year-old Keith Edward Shifflett Sr. was driving one of two Holiday Coach Lines busses Saturday evening scheduled to travel from Sebring High School to Daytona Beach for a “Project Graduation” trip.

Of the 36 passengers on Shifflett’s bus, deputies say six were minors.

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According to the sheriff’s office, after leaving Sebring High School, Shifflett began to drive the bus recklessly, running through three red lights as the passengers yelled at him to stop.

Eventually, deputies say someone else driving their personal vehicle as a part of the group pulled in front of the bus and forced Shifflett to stop near the intersection of Panther Parkway and Cowboy Way.

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According to the sheriff’s office, responding deputies spoke to Shifflett at the scene and determined he appeared to be impaired.

After a round of field sobriety tests, deputies arrested Shifflett for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

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Deputies spoke to a passenger on Shifflett’s bus and the driver of the second bus, who each confirmed the sequence of events leading up to the stop and identified Shifflett as the impaired bus driver.

Each of the 30 adult passengers on the bus chose to seek criminal charges against Shifflett, leading to 30 individual counts of culpable negligence, a misdemeanor.

The parents of four of the six minors on the bus also chose to pursue charges against Shifflett, resulting in four more counts of felony child abuse.

No injuries were reported.

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