Flagler school bus driver pleads no contest to DUI charges

Mark Michael McNeill, 60, was arrested on Feb. 10 after driving around 40 middle schoolers drunk

Mark McNeill, 60, was arrested on Feb. 10 after driving approximately 40 middle school students home while drunk. (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla – An Ormond Beach bus driver pleaded no contest Tuesday after he was arrested in February, accused of driving drunk while taking children home from school.

Mark Michael McNeill’s plea includes charges of child neglect, DUI at 0.15 or with a person under 18, and resisting an officer without violence, the state attorney’s office said.

His plea offer was changed in June after he was rebooked into jail on no bond when he admitted he was impaired during his hearing in court.

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The bus driver was sentenced to one and a half years in the Florida State Prison, followed by three and a half years of drug offender probation with residential treatment.

McNeill was arrested on Feb. 10 after driving approximately 40 middle schoolers home in a bus not assigned to him while drunk, deputies said.

He was arrested after a Flagler County school district employee chased him down his route and stopped him before alerting the sheriff’s Office, according to deputies.

According to an affidavit, McNeill was observed smelling of alcohol by a Buddy Taylor Middle School employee and reported it to the director of transportation in the Flagler school district.

He ignored multiple attempts by the school transportation to contact him via radio as he dropped off students.

McNeill was found by his boss along the driver’s route near the intersection of Karas Trail and Karat Path. When McNeill “exited the bus and fell to the ground complaining he couldn’t breathe,” records show. The bus driver was taken to the hospital by Flagler County firefighters and arrested by deputies who smelled alcohol on his breath, according to an affidavit.

McNeill was heard on a deputy’s body camera yelling at deputies during his arrest. Upon conducting a breath sample test at the Flagler County Jail, investigators found he had blood-alcohol levels of .32 and .31, four times the legal limit in Florida.

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Maria joined ClickOrlando.com in June 2022.