An actual backseat driver in Virginia has been charged with a DUI.
You might be wondering how someone in the back of the car can be charged with driving under the influence. Well, apparently 23-year-old Brandi Snow Williams was able to grab the steering wheel from the back seat of the car she was riding forcing the driver of the car to crash and flip over the vehicle, reports NBC.
Because Williams was drunk and had her hands on the steering wheel, Virginia authorities charged her with a DUI.
Had this incident occurred in Washington state, it's likely that the backseat driver would have faced the same charges.
Nowhere in the drunk driving statutes does it state that the drunk driver has to be in the driver seat. So presumably someone in the backseat or passenger seat could also be charged with a DUI if they grab the wheel and steer the car erratically.
In fact, you don't even have to be driving to be charged with a DUI. In Washington, someone can be charged with a DUI if they are drunk and have physical possession of a car. (RCW 46.61.504) For example, you could be busted for drunk driving if you are passed out drunk in the driver's seat of your parked car and you leave the keys in the ignition.
A backseat driver DUI arrest is certainly rare, but apparently not impossible.
If you have a question about a DUI arrest in the Seattle or King County areas and are uncertain about the charges you face or the potential penalties, you should consider contacting an attorney.
The DUI defense attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense can explain the charges for even the strangest DUIs. If you have a question, don't hesitate to call us at 425-284-2000 to schedule a free consultation.