A DRUNKEN 10-mile motorway drive – in the wrong direction – has landed a Tanworth-in-Arden man with a 19-month prison sentence.
At around 1.45am on Sunday May 7, police received a report of a white Toyota Rav4 being driven the wrong way on the M40 by 62-year-old Tony Chapman.
The car, which had travelled from junction 15 in Warwickshire, was seen weaving across the road – causing vehicles travelling the correct way to take evasive action.
A rolling road closure was put in place to keep other motorists safe.
PC John Martin and PC Chris Bradley from the Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG) were waiting for the vehicle further down the road and when it left the M40 in Worcestershire to go on to the M42 at around 70 miles per hour, they turned on their blue lights in an effort to slow the car.
The car passed without slowing and the officers were forced to use ‘tactical contact’ to force the car against the central reservation before finally bringing it to a halt (see video).
Chapman was removed from the vehicle and arrested. During interview, he said he had no recollection of driving the car.
Appearing at Worcester Crown Court, Chapman, of Aspley Hearth Lane, Tanworth-in-Arden, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and a license, failing to provide a breath test, driving while drunk, possession of cannabis, dangerous driving and taking a vehicle without consent.
On July 5 he was sentenced to 19 months in prison, banned from driving for five years and nine months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
PC John Martin said: “It was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured; Chapman can count himself very lucky. He put the lives of other road users at risk and the prison sentence reflects the severity of what he did.”
Superintendent Dean Hatton from CMPG said: “Officers acted quickly, professionally and with incredible bravery to protect the public from this reckless and criminal behaviour. They are a credit to policing.”