A Polish nurse who drove her Mini Cooper 20 miles down a dual carriageway at Newmarket in the wrong direction while twice over the legal drink-drive limit has walked free from court.
Dorota Wysoczanska, 36, turned down an exit lane onto the A14 outside Newmarket, Suffolk, and continued through Bury St Edmunds at around 60mph until she was stopped by a rolling police roadblock.
A hearing at Ipswich Crown Court heard that Wysoczanska was fleeing a violent encounter with her boyfriend at the time, and trying to get home to Ashford in Kent when she entered the main road the wrong way. She said she had got muddled about satnav instructions.
Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said when police finally managed to stop her Mini Cooper car near Stowmarket, Wysoczanska was found to have more than twice the legal level of alcohol for driving in her blood.
Tests showed the repeat offender had 75 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.
Wysoczanska admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. The court also heard she had a previous drink-drive conviction in 2008.
Sentencing Wysoczanska to two months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Recorder Jonathan Seely said that while he accepted she had been in a state of distress after being assaulted, her decision to drive away had been the wrong one.
“You may have had a genuine need to get away from your abuser but getting into a car having consumed that amount of alcohol was not an option open to you,” he said.
The court heard that police alerted by worried motorists had made repeated attempts to stop Wysoczanska who was finally brought to a halt after 20 minutes by a rolling roadblock near Stowmarket.
Mitigating, Stephen Dyble said that once Wysoczanska was on the A14 she realised that she was travelling the wrong way and tried to warn oncoming drivers by flashing her lights.
She had not noticed laybys where she could have stopped and felt it was too dangerous to stop and turn around in the road, said Mr Dyble.
She had been panicking and hoping to find a roundabout, the court heard.
The previous evening the court heard Wysoczanska had been violently assaulted by her partner and had decided to drive back to the safety of her home in Kent when he fell asleep, said Mr Dyble.
In addition to the suspended sentence, Wysoczanska was banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to pay £120 prosecution costs.