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How did a volunteer shuttle bus driver with DUI charge pass background check?

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SNOHOMISH, Wash. — There are still many unanswered questions about how a man with a prior DUI arrest got behind the wheel of a senior center van.

The Washington State Patrol arrested Gilbert Maier on Wednesday after his erratic driving led terrified passengers to demand he pull over.

Records show it’s his second arrest in less than a year.

The arresting officer said Maier’s eyes were watery, his pupils constricted and he was slurring his speech.

Patricia Bjerkan was sitting in the front seat.

“There was a series of stuff that made us feel uncomfortable, the way the driver was driving and we didn’t think it was safe,” she said.

Passengers said Maier ran stop signs and drove over curbs, police said he slammed on his brakes on the busy Highway 2 trestle, after his elderly passengers begged him to stop.

Court documents said Maier used prescription drugs on Tuesday night and he allegedly had painkillers in his pocket when the police arrested him for suspicion of DUI.

“All that we can say at this time is that we’re reviewing the situation, collecting the information and hope to have a quick resolution of the situation,” said Senior Center Board President Carroll Brown.

Administrators at the senior center said Maier’s 2014 DUI arrest didn’t show up on their background check, and Maier didn’t mention the arrest on his volunteer application.

It turns out the State Patrol wasn’t required to report the 2014 incident because the charge is a gross misdemeanor – and Maier wasn’t taken to jail.

Maier was released from jail without bail; prosecutors are likely waiting for results from blood draws taken on Wednesday.

Maier’s trial for the 2014 DUI arrest is scheduled to start in June.

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4 comments

    • JMG

      Now that is an understatement. I daresay that laws would get tougher real fast if some public official’s loved one were to get killed by a slobbering drunk that would obviously have no business driving.In my book when a person is killed by a drunk driver then the driver deserves to hang, get shot between the eyes etc. I have no patience for this type of behavior!

  • Mary

    I go to this senior center and have seen this young man stumble around and has even asked people if they have some xtra pills to share. They need to keep him out of this place I for one will not be going back until I hear he i is gone.

  • Lori

    He was released without bail? WTF is wrong with this state??????– So he can get behind the wheel again and kill someone before they do anything!!!!!