ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A city of Albuquerque bus driver is on paid leave after he was pulled from his bus filled with passengers and told to undergo drug and alcohol testing for a minor incident that sheared off his mirror.
Transit officials aren't saying much about the incident that happened about two weeks ago.
Just three hours into Anthony Chavez's shift passengers riding on his Route 66 bus along Central Avenue SW were forced off his bus and onto another for something the transit department claims wasn't that bad.
"It wasn't a bus crash. He was going along and his mirror hit a pole," ABQ Ride spokesperson Rick de Reyes said.
But as minor as the city said it was, Chavez was pulled off his route and sent immediately to get tested.
"Mr. Chavez was taken to a collection facility to be given the standard alcohol and drug test," de Reyes said.
However, city officials said its not standard protocol for everyone who clips off a mirror or backs into a pole to be sent for testing.
The supervisor called out to the scene decided the testing was needed.
The city said Chavez hit the pole around Central and 10th Street SW. But he didn't notice his mirror was sheared off and didn't call it in until Central and Cornell Avenue SE.
That's more than two miles of weaving in and out of traffic without noticing his right side mirror was gone.
The supervisor said that he did not follow standard procedures of his training and that's why he ordered the testing to be done. Chavez has been on administrative leave with pay since then.
The city would not say if its awaiting test results to determine if Chavez can come back to work and at this time will not say if any results showed he could have been under the influence.
"I can't say anything about that because it will step on his due process," de Reyes said.
The city will not say if the supervisor suspected Chavez was under the influence that day.
De Reyes said Chavez has been with ABQ Ride for 10 months. There was no word on how long the investigation will take.
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