Police charge wrong-way driver with DUI

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NAUGATUCK — A Waterbury woman drove the wrong way on Route 8 while drunk and talking on her cellphone Saturday, police said.

Borough police heard over a statewide police radio network that someone was driving south in the northbound lanes of Route 8, said Lt. Robert Harrison, spokesman for the Naugatuck Police Department.

The driver, 31-year-old Terese Williams of 1863 South Main St., used the entrance ramp from Waterbury Road as an exit ramp, where she nearly collided with an off-duty state police trooper who swerved to avoid the accident, Harrison said.

Williams, who was driving a green 2005 Nissan Altima, crashed into a sign on a grassy island at the bottom of the ramp, Harrison said. Borough police turned onto the road to see a cloud of dust still in the air and Williams, uninjured, on her cellphone, Harrison said.

Williams admitted she had been on her cellphone while driving, but became upset when officers asked for her license, registration and insurance card, Harrison said.

“Why are you treating me like I killed someone?” Williams said, according to the police report. “You should be out stopping criminals.”

Williams failed field sobriety tests and was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, operating a motor vehicle with a handheld telephone, reckless driving, failure to drive in the proper lane and failure to meet minimum insurance requirements. She was released on a $500 bond to appear Thursday in Waterbury Superior Court.