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School bus driver faces DWI charges following bus crash

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A school bus driver in southeast Minnesota is facing three counts of drunken driving after the bus he was driving crashed into a tree with children aboard Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities say around 4:45 p.m., 54-year-old Karl Allen Herber of Rollingstone was driving the bus on Fern Valley Drive near County Road 28 between Altura and Rollingstone when the bus crossed the center line and went into the ditch, striking several trees before coming to a stop, the Winona Daily News reports.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said Herber was nearing the end of his route when the accident happened and had five children from the Lewiston-Altura school district on board. The children were uninjured and were taken home by other drivers.

Winona County Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude told WCCO that Herber smelled of alcohol and was unable to keep his balance at the scene.

After failing a field sobriety test, was placed under arrest and transported to the Winona County jail.

A breath test indicated Herber's blood-alcohol concentration was 0.09 percent.

Although the legal limit to drive in Minnesota is 0.08 percent, Superintendent Jeff Apse told the Daily News that district policy specifies a 0.00 percent standard for school bus drivers.

KARE 11 reports that Apse declined to comment about the incident. The station says the district is investigating.

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