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'I made a mistake:' Beloved Biddeford school bus driver accused of OUI speaks out after charges are dropped

The D.A.’s office dropped charges against Richard Tanguay, 68, who was charged with an OUI and driving to endanger and endangering the welfare of a child.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Richard Tanguay is back to work after three months waiting to prove his innocence.

Tanguay, 68, was charged with OUI after being stopped on Interstate 95 in Scarborough for allegedly driving a bus filled with students erratically in November.

RELATED: Charges dropped against Biddeford bus driver

He was arrested and placed on administrative leave.

"I was a little scared," Tanguay said in an interview with NEWS CENTER Maine. "I didn't know what was going on." 

Tanguay did not dispute the fact that he was speeding in a construction zone and failed to use his directional as State Police claimed.

RELATED: Biddeford bus driver charged with OUI

"I made a mistake," Tanguay said.

When asked if students were ever in danger though, he said 'no.' 

As a bus driver for more than 40 years, what hurt the most was the backlash from total strangers assuming his guilt. 

"That's what really upset me, but I just went from day to day," Tanguay said.

Charges were dropped three months after his arrest when a drug test came back negative.

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"Very few times have we seen that the evidence that comes forward in a subsequent investigation doesn't match the opinion that was formed," Cumberland County District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck said.

Sahbeck said police had probable cause to make the arrest.

Tanguay failed a field sobriety test and was later brought to the Cumberland County Jail where he was given a breathalyzer and drug test, according to Sahrbeck. 

The breathalyzer test showed Tanguay had a 0.0% Blood Alcohol Content, so Tanguay was charged with an OUI for drugs.

"The testing takes a long time with drug recognition investigations," he said. "Every one of those urine or blood tests needs to be analyzed. The state lab is only so big. They can only handle the volume that they can."

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The Biddeford School Dept. reinstated Tanguay last week. 

"Student safety is always our first priority and these additional negative test results further substantiated his innocence," Biddeford Superintendent Jeremy Ray said in a statement.

Tanguay said his supporters and his wife got him through the ordeal. Now he is just glad to be back doing the job he loves.

"It will be back to normal. Time heals all wounds," he said.

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