Woman arrested in Forsyth County for allegedly driving school bus while intoxicated

A school bus driver has been arrested on charges of DUI on May 23. Forsyth County Sheriff's officials say 52-year-old Ginger Katz was driving a school bus full of children at the time. 

Students at Piney Grove Middle School had just gotten on the bus and were heading home on the last day of school. That's when the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office says Katz' bus hit another car at the intersection of Ronald Reagan Blvd and Brannon Road. 

"We just heard the loudest bang, so we all ran out and, in the beginning, we saw a car in the intersection," said Stacey Commings who works nearby.

No one was hurt, but deputies gave the bus driver a breathalyzer test and said she blew a .204 and later a .209. That's more than twice the legal limit. 

"At that moment, we had immediately terminated the bus driver," said Jennifer Caracciolo, with Forsyth County Schools.

School officials say Katz had been driving for Forsyth County Schools since January. 

Katz is charged with DUI, Failure to Yield Right of Way and 30 counts of Endangering a Child by DUI. That's one count for each child on the bus. 

"We were very upset that someone would put children and other drivers in harm's way by getting behind the wheel while under the influence," said Caracciolo.

"That is scary. It makes you not want to put your children on the bus," said Commings. 

School officials said  Katz drove two routes just prior to this one for Piney Grove Middle School. One for Big Creek Elementary and one for Whitlow Elementary. They have no reports of anything happening on those routes, and said they were grateful no one was hurt. 

"We're just very thankful that the students are okay," said Caracciolo.

School officials sent the following letter to parents and guardians of students at Piney Grove as well as the two elementary schools on Monday, telling them about the arrest of the bus driver:

"I am writing to inform you that after the accident on Thursday, May 23, the school bus driver involved was tested by law enforcement and it was discovered that that she was driving under the influence. 

"She was arrested by law enforcement and charged with failure to yield, DUI, and child endangerment. It is unacceptable that our students were placed in this extremely dangerous situation by this individual. 

"Forsyth County Schools immediately terminated the driver, who had been an employee since January 2024. At no time was there any reason to believe that the driver had been driving under the influence prior to this instance and route. 

"While this is an extremely unusual occurrence in our school district, I want to ensure you that we are committed to keeping your child safe. If you have concerns about Forsyth County School’s standards for bus driver safety requirements and training, please contact our Transportation Director Mike Satterfield at msatterfield@forsyth.k12.ga.us."