Modified: January 29, 2016 1:02pm
First Assistant District Attorney Michael Flaherty, Jr. announces that 55 year- old Brian Ceroky of 65 Harvey Avenue, Lockport, pleaded guilty, as charged, to Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated While Operating a School Bus, a class “D” Felony before Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller. This is the highest charge for which Ceroky could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Ceroky was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
On November 1, 2015, State University Police responded to complaints from students who believed the operator of the Gray Line Shuttle Bus for Buffalo State College was intoxicated. State University Police Officer Raven Harvey responded to the complaint, located the Gray Line Shuttle Bus on Grover Cleveland Circle, and observed the bus strike the curb before pulling over to let students disembark.
Officer Raven Harvey approached the driver’s side of the bus and observed Mr. Ceroky asleep at the wheel with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. It took Officer Raven Harvey two attempts to wake up Mr. Ceroky.
While speaking with defendant, Officer Harvey observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage about his breath, glassy and bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and impaired motor coordination. When Officer Harvey asked defendant to exit the school bus, defendant had a difficult time and needed to use the driver’s door to balance.
After making these observations, Officer Harvey asked Mr. Ceroky to perform Field Sobriety Tests, but due to his inability to stand he was unable to perform any. He agreed to take a chemical test of his breath which resulted in a .30% BAC, well above the lawful limit of .08%. Officer Harvey found in the school bus an open bottle of vodka inside in an open duffle bag next to the driver’s seat.
Flaherty credited the students for reporting their concerns. “The students use of their common sense, and the professional police work of Officer Harvey, prevented this from becoming a far more serious incident.”
Ceroky faces up to seven years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 23, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. by Justice Boller.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nash, who is assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.