A Polish nurse who drove for 20 miles the wrong way along the A14 was fleeing an assault by her abusive partner a court has been told.
Dorota Wysoczanska, 36, ended up on the dual carriageway in the early hours of Boxing Day and was finally brought to a halt by a Police rolling roadblock.
Ipswich Crown Court heard today that when they finally managed to stop her Mini Cooper car near Stowmarket Wysoczanska, from Kingsworth, Ashford in Kent, was found to have more than twice the legal level of alcohol for driving in her blood.
Sentencing Wysoczanska to two months imprisonment suspended for two years, Mr 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.
Mr Recorder Seely told Wysoczanska: “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.”
The court heard that Wysoczanska’s hazardous journey began when she became muddled about satnav instructions at Newmarket and ended up driving down a slip road leading from the westbound A14.
Police alerted by worried motorists made repeated attempts to stop Wysoczanska who was finally brought to a halt after 20 minutes by a rolling roadblock near Stowmarket.
Defending, 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 in which 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 previous evening 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.
Wysoczanska had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. The court was told that it was her second drink driving conviction within five years.
In addition to the suspended sentence Wysoczanska was banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to pay £120 prosecution costs.