Drink-driver goes wrong way down road; doesn't realise police are following him for four miles

When he was finally arrested, the driver said he didn't understand what was happening, as well as denying he was drunk

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The Independent Online

A 78-year-old man was banned from taking to the roads for 12 months after he was caught driving in the wrong direction and failed to stop when being pursued by police for a number of minutes.

When he was finally stopped by police, he failed the road-side breath test and was arrested.

Drivers called police back in the early hours of 2 June when they saw Godfrey Maclauchlan driving north on the southbound carriageway of the A24.

He then turned east onto the A272 and was observed by police weaving in and out of the gutter as he drove along the road at 30mph.

The policeman in the car behind can be heard telling another officer, "We're not in a pursuit but initial attempts to stop the vehicle were…don't know if the male is aware of our presence." Police believe that Mr Maclauchlan was so drunk he was completely unaware of the flashing lights and siren of the police car that was on his tail for four minutes.

Eventually the police car drove up alongside Mr Maclauchlan (who had his window wide open despite the fact it was raining) and told him to pull over.

When the blue Ford Mondeo did finally come to a halt, Mr Machlauchlan failed the road-side breath test, but seemed confused as to what was happening. The police tell him he has tested positive for alcohol and he both denies that he is drunk as well as stating that he doesn't understand anything they are saying.

Mr Maclauchlan, from Billericay, Essex, ended up pleading guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court on 16 June. he was banned fro 12 months, fined £250 and ordered to pay £235 costs and a £25 victim surcharge.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas, of Sussex and Surrey roads policing unit, said: "The case of Maclauchlan shows yet again that it isn't only the young or middle aged that decide to drink-drive.

Sussex Police launched Operation Dragonfly this month to crackdown on drink and drug-driving: so far, four people have been convicted.

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