VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A man accused of driving a school bus while under the influence was sentenced by a Virginia Beach judge Monday to 60 days in jail.
Wayne Tomlin, Jr. was charged with driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and drinking or possessing alcohol on a school bus, according to court documents.
On the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2022, Wayne Tomlin picked up a school bus and drove it to an ABC store where he bought alcohol, prosecutors said. He told police officers that day he took the bus home to drink before picking up students at the Governor’s School of Arts in Norfolk.
He dropped all but two students off at Plaza Middle School in Virginia Beach. Prosecutors said surveillance footage on the bus captures Tomlin drinking a bottle while driving students. He told investigators during a police interview that’s when he started to feel the effects of the alcohol.
Lawyers said Tomlin dropped off the remaining students at their homes. He then drove to Lynnhaven Middle School to pick up another group of students but school staff stopped him saying he smelled of alcohol and had issues walking. Tomlin took a breath test which showed he had a blood alcohol content of .14.
Tomlin’s attorney said he took full responsibility for his actions immediately following the incident. His lawyer said a wave of stressors hit Tomlin which caused him to cope with drinking. Since then, Tomlin has started treatment and counseling. His lawyer said he hasn’t touched alcohol since. He’s scheduled to report to jail on March 20.
Tomlin's attorney said he spent about 30 years with the school division and is receiving retirement from the city.