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Carlton, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Cannon Falls man is facing multiple DWI-related charges for allegedly driving a charter bus transporting dozens of children while he was drunk.

A criminal complaint filed in Carlton County Court indicates 49-year-old Patrick Bullard was behind the wheel of a bus that was pulled over by State Troopers on I-35 in an area south of Duluth late Sunday morning. The traffic stop was in response to a report that a charter bus was being driven from “shoulder to shoulder and almost into the ditch” along the freeway. The court document says the troopers, after locating the bus, also saw it drive across a lane of traffic onto the shoulder.

Coach Bus

The troopers involved in the stop described Bullard as "quite dazed and disoriented." The charges also state the troopers observed signs of intoxication, and after Bullard failed a field sobriety test, a preliminary breath test measured his blood-alcohol-concentration at .257.

Bullard complaint - Carlton County Court
Bullard complaint - Carlton County Court

The criminal complaint says a 1.75 liter bottle of Fireball whiskey, which was approximately one-third empty, was found in s Bullard's backpack and a plastic drinking container was found next to the driver’s seat containing an alcohol mixed beverage that smelled like Fireball. One of the two adult passengers on the bus also told the troopers he had seen Bullard drinking from the container while he was driving.

The charter bus was transporting a group of 35 children between the ages of 11 and 14, along with two adult chaperones, to a YMCA camp in northern Minnesota.

Bullard is charged with two gross misdemeanor DWI-related offenses, and two misdemeanor counts involving violating Minnesota's open bottle laws. He was bought before a Carlton County judge for a bail hearing on Tuesday and is scheduled to return to court for an evidentiary hearing on November 2.

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