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Columbia man charged with DWI in school bus crash on Thursday

A Columbia man involved in a bus crash Thursday morning faces charges for driving while intoxicated. The crash happened around 8 a.m. when Devin Barnes, 19, rear-ended the school bus on Route AB south of Columbia.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s investigation on the scene revealed Barnes was under the influence of methadone at the time of the crash. It’s a drug commonly used to treat withdrawal symptoms of former heroin users.

A deeper look into Barnes’ past revealed he has been arrested two times this year already for similar charges. In fact, this is the second time in four months that Barnes has been accused of being on the drug while driving.

It starts back in February when Barnes was charged with driving recklessly and causing an accident. For that, a judge sentenced Barnes with two years of unsupervised probation.

Three months later, officers arrest Barnes again. This time, for driving while intoxicated with drugs. Court documents show officers witnessed Barnes driving erratically again and approached him at a gas station. When asked if he had been drinking, Barnes said no but admitted to taking his methadone prescription for heroin abuse. Inside his car, officers found an empty bottle of methadone and a package of syringes.

Thursday’s crash was not different. Court documents show Barnes passed a breathalyzer test, but officers noticed odd symptoms, like glassy eyes, constricted pupils and cottonmouth.

An officer pulled Barnes inside his patrol car where Barnes stated, “…he was not stupid an knew that I knew he took methadone.”

That was enough for officers to arrest him a second time for driving under the influence of methadone.

Information online shows those prescribed methadone will sometimes have an invalid driver’s license while under treatment, and some users may be unfit to drive even the day after methadone.

According to the Centers for Substance Abuse Research, the drug is used to ween addicts away from heroin by relieving their withdrawal symptoms. However, some addicts have been known to use methadone as their drug of choice.

Barnes was being held in the Boone County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond on Thursday, but bonded out of jail Friday morning before his arraignment in court Friday afternoon.

Barnes’ next court appearance will be on October 7 for the first DWI charge he received in May.

Fire officials say only one student was on the bus at the time of the crash. No injuries were reported.

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