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Backseat passenger charged with DUI after wreck

Bedford County authorities have charged a backseat passenger with driving under the influence based on evidence she grabbed the vehicle’s steering wheel and caused a wreck.

The unusual charge stems from a single-car accident in January where several people were injured, one seriously, according to The Roanoke Times. Other passengers told police Brandi Snow Williams made several attempts to take the wheel before finally grabbing it, causing the wreck, according to court documents.

Williams, 23, is charged both with DUI and reckless driving in the incident. While rare, such charges are not unheard of. The Court of Appeals of Virginia upheld a DUI conviction under similar circumstances in 2003.

“If you’re intoxicated and take control of the wheel, you’re going to be prosecuted for DUI,” assistant commonwealth’s attorney John Wheelock told the paper.

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