Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Macclesfield man jailed for driving wrong way drunk

Mold Crown Court
Andrew Sayle drove the wrong way while twice the drink-drive limit

A man, 44, who drove six miles the wrong way along a dual carriageway has been jailed for eight months and banned from driving for three years.

Andrew Sayle of Macclesfield, Cheshire, had 77 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mold Crown Court heard one driver went up a grass verge to avoid a collision with his white Mercedes Sprinter van.

Judge Rogers said: "It is only a matter of good fortune that you did not strike one of those other cars."

Sayle was first seen driving eastwards in the westbound lane of the A55 towards Chester.

Ian Evans, prosecuting, said one driver heading west at Rhuallt Hill saw stopped in the inside lane when he saw headlights coming towards him.

The driver flashed his headlights but Sayle's van moved over to his lane, the court heard. That was when the driver went up onto the grass verge.

'Obviously drunk'

Sayle drove in the oncoming carriageway as far as the Little Chef at Halkyn where he turned the wrong way up a slip road, turned around, and then drove back to St Asaph, Mr Evans said.

He was seen veering all over the road.

Later police found him parked up at St Asaph Business Park. He was slumped over the wheel and obviously drunk, the court was told on Friday.

Judge Rogers said the significant aggravating factor was the fact Sayle was driving at more than twice the legal limit.

He told Sayle if there had been a fatal accident "your sentence would have been in the region of 10 years".

Simon Killeen, defending, said his client was a family man who had suffered some kind of breakdown after his business had been hit by the recession and urged the court to pass a suspended sentence.

Mr Killeen: "What he did was a complete aberration."

Sayle must take an extended driving test to regain his licence.

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