Drink-driver drove wrong way along A14

The A14 westbound, close to the Woolpit junction. A vehicle fire is causing delays to motorists on t

Police came across Peter Hollocks driving the wrong way down the A14. Stock image - Credit: Archant

A motorist who was nearly three times the drink-drive limit when he drove the wrong way along the A14 has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Peter Hollocks to a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, Judge David Pugh said: “It’s only due to sheer good fortune that you didn’t cause a collision with any other road users, which may have resulted in possible loss of life.

“The potential for harm was very high."

Hollocks, 51, formerly of Bell Meadows, Bury St Edmunds but now living at Council Houses, The Street, Preston St Mary, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving.

He was also given a 90-day alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also banned from driving for two years, after which he must take an extended retest.

Nicola May, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (June 29), said police received received reports from concerned members of the public at about 11pm on August 30 last year.

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They said that a Ford Focus was driving westbound towards Bury Edmunds from Woolpit on the eastbound carriageway - against the flow of traffic.

Police officers drove to the area and saw headlights coming towards them in the fast lane.

They slowed down and flashed their headlamps at the car and the driver of the Ford Focus flashed back.

“It wasn’t clear if it was going to stop at all,” said Miss May.

She said the police officers had been prepared to disable the Ford Focus using their car to block its path.

Fortunately, it did slow down and eventually came to a halt after the officers positioned their car at a right angle across both lanes.

When the officers approached the car, it was clear the driver had been drinking as he smelled of alcohol, couldn’t complete full sentences and appeared to be vacant.

A breath test showed he had 95 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath –  nearly three times the the legal limit of 35mcg.

The court heard that in 2008, Hollocks was given a community order and banned from driving for two years for drink-driving.

Joanne Eley, for Hollocks, said  her client was incredibly remorseful and had not drunk any alcohol since the night of the offences.

She said he had been involved in three cycling accidents which had  left him with brain damage, resulting in him having to stop work.

She said Hollocks suffered from anxiety and he had tried to kill himself because he was struggling to cope.

She said things had improved in the last year and that he was now doing voluntary work and living with his parents.

“He is a different man now in relation to his mental health and his issues with alcohol,” said Miss Eley.

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