Published: August 9, 2011
Drunk driver sped wrong way down M5 past Burnham-On-Sea

A drunken motorist is facing jail after she this week admitted speeding down the M5 motorway past Burnham-On-Sea in the wrong direction while twice the drink-drive limit.

Deborah Hunt, 43, almost collided with a police car with its blue lights flashing and other oncoming vehicles.

She drove northbound down the outside lane at 60mph in her Peugeot 806 despite being on the southbound carriageway and being tailed by police.

The drama began when she joined the wrong carriageway of the M5 at junction 24 at Bridgwater at 11.30pm on July 14th and then sped down the motorway into the path of terrified drivers.

A police car had to swerve out of her path to avoid a smash at junction 22 at Burnham-On-Sea and Hunt, who is from Langport, was finally caught ater 23 miles when her vehicle ran out of petrol on the hard shoulder.

She was still trying to start her engine and smelt strongly of alcohol when police officers arrested her.

Appearing before North Somerset Magistrates Court on Monday, she wept in the dock and shook uncontrollably as she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having excess alcohol and no insurance.

Nick Baker, chair of the bench, told her: "This was a very dangerous incident. You drove for 23 miles the wrong way in the third lane of the motorway. You didn’t realise you were being pursued by police, were two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit and uninsured."

The court was told that Mrs Hunt had been drinking to 'drown her sorrows' over her looming divorce.

Michael Collins, prosecuting, said: "Police Constable David Watson reported the vehicle to be travelling at 60mph in the third lane. Despite having his blue light illuminating she continued her way along with no change to her speed."

"The vehicle eventually did stop on the hard shoulder. Police Constable Gray approached the vehicle, which was sat on the hard shoulder with its hazard lights on. He saw her trying the ignition key and turning the engine over."

The driver was found to have 83 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breathe, which is almost two-and-half times the legal limit.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing to be held at Bristol Crown Court on August 30th and imposed an interim disqualification on her driving license.


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