Drinking driver stopped on motorway for a snooze
A driver became so drunk on whisky he pulled up on the outside lane of the M20 for a snooze.
Police had to make an effort to rouse Leon Lawresz on the motorway near Charing before noticing an open bottle of whisky stashed above the driver’s seat of his van.
Witnesses alerted police when the 46-year-old’s Citroen Relay was seen parked on the southbound carriageway on October 27, Folkestone Magistrate’s Court heard.
District Judge Justin Barron suspended a 12-week prison sentence on Lawresz for 18 months. Miraculously no one was hurt. Giving evidence, prosecutor Neil Sweeney told how it appeared Lawresz was “drinking the liquor behind the wheel” but became too inebriated to drive.
Officers made a number of attempts to rouse the Polish man before they could breathalyse him, Mr Sweeney said.
He recorded 96 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost three times the legal limit, which is 35 microgrammes.
Lawresz, a farm worker, bowed his head as the charges were read against him.
The court heard Lawresz was driving from his home in Yeovil Road in Crewkerne in Somerset to Poland to visit his dad who had been taken ill.
Speaking with the aid of a translator, Lawresz told the court he didn’t have a drink problem.
He was drinking over the news his father was unwell, he said.
He admitted drink-driving and was also handed 200 hours of unpaid work, a two year driving ban and £190 fine.
Passing sentence Judge Barron said: “It’s extremely lucky you didn’t cause very serious injury to anyone else and yourself.
“You had a high alcohol read- ing made worse that you drunk the alcohol when you were driving and became incapacitated in the fast lane of the M20.
“You are fortunate members of the public came to your aid and prevented an accident.”
He added Lawresz stopping in the fast lane was an “aggravating factor” to the drink driving charge.
A Polish driver took a nap in the outside lane of the M20 after drinking whisky at the wheel