Ipswich: ‘Inexcusable’ - Drink driver Tracey Matthews more than three times the limit as she tried to dodge police car while driving the wrong way along A14

Drink-driver Tracey Matthews

Drink-driver Tracey Matthews - Credit: Archant

Police have branded the actions of a drink-driver who was three times the limit while driving the wrong way on the A14 at night as “inexcusable”.

Tracey Matthews, of Cotman Road, Ipswich, even tried to dodge a police car which attempted to stop her in an effort to prevent a potential accident, the town’s magistrates heard.

Matthews subsequently told police she had decided to leave home at 11.40pm on July 7 after drinking because she wanted to see her partner.

The 48-year-old is currently awaiting her fate after it was decided her case was so serious it would have to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.

Matthews admitted dangerous driving and drink driving when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday.


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Prosecutor David Bryant said police were called to the A14 at Sproughton because Matthews’ Peugeot 207 was heading in the wrong direction.

The court was told when officers saw her car she attempted to drive around their vehicle.

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Police blocked her path and when they spoke to Matthews they saw she was heavily intoxicated, said Mr Bryant.

A roadside breath test indicated she was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

Magistrates were told Matthews was taken to the police investigation centre at Martlesham where a blood test was taken.

The reading showed she had 263 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mlgs.

Mr Bryant said Matthews told the police she was on her way to see her partner when she was stopped.

Although she had been drinking she got in her car and turned towards Asda to join the Bury St Edmunds-bound A14.

However, after passing West Meadows she ended up going in the direction of Felixstowe on the west-bound carriageway.

The court heard Matthews told police she had panicked and was not travelling very fast at the time, although she did admit what she had done was dangerous.

Mr Bryant requested the case be committed to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing due to the seriousness of the offences.

Magistrates declined jurisdication and sent the matter to the town’s crown court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

Matthews was released on bail until then.

She is also subject to an interim driving ban.

After the hearing Suffolk Constabulary’s investigating officer, Pc John Clarke, said: “We at Suffolk Police are committed to enhancing road safety, concentrating on seatbelt wearing, mobile phone use abuse, speeding and drink-driving. Tracey Matthews’ actions that July night are inexcusable.

“These court cases should help educate people that drink-driving remains socially unacceptable and, equally importantly, professionally dangerous. A drink-driving conviction jeopardises future job prospects.”

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