By Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) - A school bus operator has been charged with driving drunk while transporting high school cross-country runners home from a meet.

Robert Murphy, of Ashland, appeared in court Monday and was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing to determine whether he poses a threat to others. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, his third offense, and operating a motor vehicle to endanger.

Police said the 59-year-old Murphy failed field sobriety tests at Hopkinton High School after driving the team home from Cape Cod.

A coach on the bus called police at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday to report that their driver appeared intoxicated.

The coach, Jennifer Fairbanks, said she became suspicious and called without letting the students know.

Murphy drove on highway rumble strips several times, missed an exit and a restaurant he was supposed to take the team to, ran a red light and was speeding, prosecutors said in court.

Prosecutors said Murphy told officers, “You got me” when the bus returned to the school.

His attorney, Dan Campion, said although Murphy had been charged with drunken driving twice before, the last time was 25 years ago. He also said Murphy has “significant physical problems,” without elaborating.

The dangerousness hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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