Transit driver accused of driving bus drunk on parkway

A city transit driver from Long Island is accused of driving a bus while drunk on the Northern State Parkway.



Police say they pulled over Alexander Copeland, 52, of Medford, near Exit 32 in Westbury at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.



Police received multiple complaints about a bus driving erratically, according to officials.



The state trooper who pulled over Copeland reportedly detected a strong smell of an alcoholic beverage. Copeland allegedly failed sobriety tests and was arrested.



According to police, Copeland showed a .20 BAC. Police say Copeland had the day off and was not authorized to be driving the bus, nor are buses allowed on the parkway, which has many low overpass bridges.



Copeland is facing several charges, including aggravated DWI, reckless endangerment and unauthorized use of a vehicle. 



An MTA spokesman says that the bus was parked on a street when Copeland hopped in and drove off. Some buses are parked on streets because of space limitations at the MTA's Queens bus depot, according to the spokesman.



Copeland has worked for the MTA for 17 years, the company says. He was suspended without pay, but officials say more disciplinary action is pending.


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