Woman who drove down the wrong side of A14 for 20 miles walks free from court
13:40 07 March 2014
A drink driver who drove the wrong way along the A14, blamed her mistake on the fact she was following sat nav.
Police were alerted at around 3.30am on Boxing Day after 36-year-old Dorota Wysoczanska was spotted driving on the wrong carriageway on the A14 near Newmarket, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Wysoczanska ignored attempts by police officers to stop her, a court has heard, but was finally stopped 15-20 minutes and 20 miles later after two police cars formed a roadblock across the dual carriageway on the Ipswich side of Bury St Edmunds.
Officers had initially tried to stop Wysoczanska, who was driving towards them, by illuminating the blue flashing lights on their vehicles but she had driven straight past them, said Lori Tucker, prosecuting.
The officers turned round, caught her up and drove alongside her with their lights flashing and siren sounding but Wysoczanska, who was more than twice the drink drive limit, made no attempt to stop.
“Another police car approached her and the same thing happened again. She had passed turn offs and lay-bys and didn’t stop,” Miss Tucker said.
She was eventually forced to stop when two police cars blocked the road ahead of her.
Wysoczanska, of Ashford, Kent, admitted dangerous driving on December 26 and driving with excess alcohol.
The court heard she had a previous conviction for drink driving dating back to 2008.
Recorder Jonathan Seely gave Wysoczanska a two-month jail sentence suspended for two years and banned her from driving for 40 months and ordered her to take an extended retest.
She was also ordered to pay £120 prosecution costs.
Sentencing her, Mr Seely said it was fortunate the incident happened in the early hours of Boxing Day when A14 traffic had been light.
He described her actions as “highly dangerous” but that luckily only a couple of vehicles had been inconvenienced by her driving.
He accepted she had been in a distressed state after allegedly being assaulted by her partner earlier in the evening while they were staying with friends in Kings Lynn.
However he said even if she had a genuine reason for wanting to get away from her partner she should not have got into a car having consumed alcohol.
Steven Dyble, for Wysoczanska, said his client was a nurse and had lost her job, which involved driving in the community, as a result of the incident. However she had got a new job working with dementia patients which she could get to via public transport.
He claimed she had been the victim of an assault by her partner on the night of the offences and had left the house where they were staying intending to drive home to Kent after he had fallen asleep.
Mr Dyble said Wysoczanska had been relying on the sat nav in her car and after missing the A14 turning had taken the next turning which resulted in her travelling the wrong way.
He said because she was travelling the wrong way there were no signs indicating lay-bys or turn offs and she had been in a state of panic.
He claimed she realised she was driving in the wrong direction along the carriageway and had flashed her lights and turned on her hazard warning lights when she saw on-coming cars.