A manager of a Birmingham substance abuse treatment center faces charges after authorities said she was driving down I-65 smoking a crack pipe with a young child in her car.
Bari Joy Williams, 44, of Gardendale, is charged with chemical endangerment of a child, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, said Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector. Williams was arrested Nov. 20, and released from the county jail after posting $12,500 bond, records show.
Police and court records provide this account of what happened: About 2:30 p.m. last Thursday, a man called police to report a woman driving erratically on Interstate 65 southbound and told police he thought the driver was smoking crack cocaine while she was driving. The caller told police there was a child in the car.
Officers on patrol found the car and followed it to a parking lot in the 1500 block of Montgomery Highway. The officer walked up to the car and saw Williams holding a crack pipe in her right hand. The bottom part of the pipe was wrapped in a washcloth to prevent lip burns.
The officer knocked on the window, and the woman inside tried to hide the pipe. Once she rolled down the window, the officer said the “smell of burnt crack cocaine was overwhelming.”
Williams got out of the car and began yelling that she was a social worker and the pipe belonged to her husband. A search of her car turned up a small amount of crack cocaine.
She later told police she was having family problems and relapsed. The 5-year-old girl in the car with her was taken into the custody of the Department of Human Resources.
Williams told police she was the substance abuse director for Olivia’s House, according to court records. Efforts to reach Williams and Olivia House officials for comment were unsuccessful. A woman who answered the phone at the center said Williams was the clinical manager there.
Court records show Williams is set to make a court appearance on Wednesday.