An elderly woman who might have driven up to 14 miles in the wrong direction on Interstates 40/85 Tuesday was not charged but has been referred to the state Division of Motor Vehicles for re-examination, a spokesman for the Alamance County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
"The only thing we would have accomplished by writing her a ticket was costing her some money and causing her insurance to go up. It would not have caused her license to be revoked," said spokesman Randy Jones. "The idea here is public safety."
Margaret Riley, 80, of Hillsborough will have to submit to a complete re-examination to determine whether she should keep her license, Jones said. Deputies use this process when they suspect someone has a medical problem that would make driving unsafe, he said.
Deputies think Riley got on the interstate at the Efland interchange in Orange County before crossing into Alamance.
More than 70 people called 911 as she drove south in the far left northbound lane.
Deputies surrounded Riley in a moving roadblock about mile marker 151, near Graham. Jones said she was shaking and very apologetic.
No one was hurt.
"We don't know why," Jones said. "The grace of God is the only thing we can say."
Staff writer Lisa Hoppenjans can be reached at 932-2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.