The driver of a long-distance bus for the Lavprisekspressen (Low Price Express) line was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on Wednesday after several passengers called police to report his erratic behaviour. “It was a very unpleasant trip,” passenger Torunn Bjoraa told state broadcaster NRK.
Bjoraa was among several passengers on the bus who said she was relieved but still shaken an hour after she and 30 others on board the bus witnessed the police action on the E18 highway near Kristiansand.
Police received their first call just before 5pm from a passenger who believed the driver of the bus was drunk. Several other calls came in as well and police managed to stop the bus east of Sørlandsparken.
“He was impolite to passengers, had slurred speech and there was lots of garbage lying around his seat,” Bjoraa told NRK. “I asked him straight away whether he was well, and whether he’d been drinking.” Other passengers also started muttering about the driver, not least after he started driving with one of the doors over the luggage compartment open. Bjoraa said he stopped to close it.
Others claimed that he sideswiped the wall of the Baneheitunnel in Kristiansand and that they were frightened. As passengers called the police, one went up to the driver and asked him to stop. “Right after that, we heard the police sirens,” passenger Karin Lunde told NRK.
The bus was traveling from Stavanger, bound for Oslo with stops along the way. The head of Unibuss, which owns Lavprisekspressen, apologized for the incident. Blood tests showed high levels of alcohol in the driver’s system and his driver’s license was seized.