The driver of a low-fare MegaBus will be fired if the DUI charges brought against him over the weekend result in a conviction, the company CEO told WKYC Monday afternoon.
MegaBus makes several daily stops in Cleveland and Akron, and serves as many as 80 local passengers each trip.
Carl Smiley, 52, of Chicago was arrested by Iowa State Police on Interstate 80 Friday night on a Chicago to Iowa run. The bus was reportedly weaving and swaying, and some of the 70 passengers on board thought it was the wind.
However, when Smiley was pulled over, troopers said he smelled of alcohol, admitted to drinking, and failed a roadside sobriety test.
"We have zero tolerance for such actions," Dale Moser, CEO of MegaBus parent company Coach USA, told WKYC by phone on Monday. "The driver has been suspended, and will be fired if he is convicted."
Smiley has been driving for MegaBus about year, but had a previous drunk driving conviction. Moser told WKYC it occurred more than 36 months ago, and that MegaBus was aware of it. He said Smiley had successfully obtained a clean commercial drivers license in Illinois.
"We take the safety of our passengers and employees as a top priority," Moser said. "This was an isolated incident and we will be very diligent that nothing like it happens again."
Chicago-bound passengers boarding a MegaBus in downtown Cleveland Monday afternoon were generally unaware of what had happened on the Chicago-Iowa run Friday night, but were not concerned about their safety.
"That's crazy, being drunk driving the bus," said one.
"I didn't know that, but I have to travel anyway," said another.
Moser did confirm that another MegaBus driver was stopped in Michigan for a DUI more than 3 years ago. The legal alcohol limit for a commercial bus driver in most states is much lower than for other drivers.