Whisky binge driver sparked A14 terror

HE WAS more than three times the legal drink drive limit, but that did not stop Rafel Karbowski getting behind the wheel of his car and driving the wrong way along the A14.

Helen Skene

HE WAS more than three times the legal drink drive limit, but that did not stop Rafel Karbowski getting behind the wheel of his car and driving the wrong way along the A14.

After a whisky-drinking bender the previous night, Karbowski told police he did not know where he had been or where he was going when they finally got him to stop his car following a terror chase in the early hours of Saturday morning.

South East Suffolk Magistrates heard yesterday that the 32-year-old of The Downs, Felixstowe had terrified oncoming motorists as he drove towards Ipswich on the Felixstowe bound carriageway, crossing the Orwell Bridge, at around 4am.

Police finally persuaded him to stop his car by driving alongside him on the correct side of the road at 60 miles per hour, having stopped any oncoming traffic at Copdock.

Andrea Reynolds prosecuting said Karbowski had been driving for about six miles when he finally stopped his vehicle in the fast lane of the A14 near Wherstead at 4.20am on Saturday.

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Lorry driver Karbowski instantly admitted his guilt and 120 micrograms of alcohol were found in 100 millilitres of his breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

Claire Hullock mitigating, said her client had been a lorry driver living in this country for three years while sending money to his Polish parents.

She said: “Somehow on those roundabouts by the docks he got into the wrong carriageway. He cannot fathom it and cannot believe what has happened.”

Mrs Hullock said: “He is familiar with the A14 as he drives it each day, he offers no other explanation other than he was out of it due to alcohol.

“He had started to realise something was wrong just before the police stopped him because vehicles were flashing him but he didn't know why.”

At his Felixstowe home today Karbowksi said: “This is a very difficult time for me.”

He will be sentenced at a later date at Ipswich Crown Court and is currently on conditional bail.

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