Polish wrong-way lorry driver jailed


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The Independent Online

A Polish lorry driver has been jailed for driving into oncoming traffic on the motorway while under the influence of alcohol.

Ireneusz Popielarz drove his lorry several hundred metres past junction nine of the M20, near Ashford, Kent, before performing a U-turn across all three lanes and travelling the wrong way back towards junction nine, Kent Police said.

The spokesman said Popielarz, 34, was spotted in lane one, travelling towards London in the coast-bound carriageway, forcing oncoming traffic to avoid him.

He was eventually stopped by Kent Police traffic officers who had witnessed the incident from the opposite carriageway.

A blood sample taken from Popielarz found him to be one and a half times the drink drive limit, police said.

He pleaded guilty today at Canterbury Crown Court to dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol, and was jailed for 18 months, the spokesman added.

He was also banned from driving for three years and will have to take an extended driving retest, police said.