Wine-carrying lorry driver ‘weaving’ between lanes on A14 jailed for drink-driving

A file picture of the A14.

A file picture of the A14. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A lorry driver carrying a trailer of wine who was seen weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink drive limit has been jailed for 10 months.

Dimitar Kamov. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary.

Dimitar Kamov. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary. - Credit: Archant

Police were alerted by a taxi driver who saw 38-year-old Dimitar Kamov’s lorry veering from lane to lane on a stretch of road between Ixworth and Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the lorry was stopped, Kamov was so unsteady on his feet that he had to be assisted by officers, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

A bottle of vodka was later found in the cab of the lorry by his employer and a breath test showed he had 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Kamov, who lives in Bulgaria, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving on November 22 last year.

Jailing him for 10 months, Recorder Ian Evans described his driving as “erratic and dangerous”.

“The lorry you were driving had a container loaded with 31 tonnes of wine and because it was a movable product, being a liquid, there was a real risk the lorry could have overturned,” said the judge.

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In addition to jailing Kamov, Recorder Evans banned him from driving for three years, after which he will have to take an extended retest.

At an earlier hearing the court heard that it took nearly 20 minutes for police to stop Kamov’s lorry from the time officers received the initial report from a taxi driver to when they managed to get the trucker to pull over in to a layby.

The taxi driver contacted police telling them that as he tried to overtake the HGV, it had slowly moved across from its lane on the Newmarket-bound carriageway, causing him to brake sharply.

He then remained behind the lorry, which had a 20ft trailer and continued to be driven erratically.

Other motorists were also held up behind the lorry and police received further calls about the manner in which it was being driven.

Police were able to get in front of the HGV when the A14 changed into three lanes and managed to get Kamov to stop at a layby near Kentford at around 6.05pm.

Edward Cole, for Kamov, accepted that his client’s bad driving was on a busy main road and was “prolonged and persistent”.

“It was perhaps through good fortune no-one was seriously injured or killed,” said Mr Cole.

He said his client had been in custody since November 22.