Reporting Derrick Blakley
(CBS) — Parents and students in the far western suburbs are still reeling over a limo driver accused of taking kids to prom while he was drunk.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley talked with the Alsip company that provided the so-called “party bus” to two dozen Oswego East High School students.
At Limos Alive, the company where driver Richard L. Madison used to work, management understands they’ve got a little bit of a public relations problem.
“I’m the marketing guy, so I’ve got to spin this somehow and keep the good press,” says Danny Fernandes. “It has really nothing to do with Limos Alive who this gentleman is: a bad apple.”
His former bosses revealed Monday Madison is a self-described driving instructor. Fernandes says Madison told management he taught people how to drive school buses.
Madison, 54, of Palos Hills, is charged with drunken driving and reckless conduct. He was arrested at Abbington Banquets near Glen Ellyn Saturday after he delivered 24 high school students.
“He got out of the bus and he kind of like was stumbling. His eyes were really red,” says student Kelsey Dano
Some of the students alerted police at the prom location that Madison had driven erratically on the way there. DuPage County deputies responded.
Limos Alive says their drivers are supposed to follow a no-tolerance policy for drinking on board.
“The driver knew those rules, but yet you can’t enforce something if he’s doing it himself,” Fernandes says.
Oswego East Principal Jeffery Craig was dumbfounded over the alleged incident.
“To have an adult that is responsible for transporting a large group of our students in a safe manner make a really bad decision is pretty confounding,” he said.
Madison’s blood alcohol level was six times the legal limit for a person operating with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The legal threshold for CDL operators is .04, compared to .08 for non-commercial drivers.