POLICE say it was miracle no one was killed when a drunk driver drove ten-miles along the motorway in the wrong direction.
Tony Chapman was behind the wheel of a Toyota Rav4 on the M40 when stopped by police in the early hours of the morning on May 7.
The 62 year-old from Tanworth-in-Arden was seen weaving across the carriageway – causing other shocked drivers travelling the right way to take evasive action to get out of his way.
A rolling road closure was put in place to keep other motorists safe after Chapham had joined the motorway at junction 15.
PC John Martin and PC Chris Bradley from the Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG) were waiting for Chapman’s 4×4 hybrid car further down the road and when it left the M40 in Worcestershire to go on to the M42 at around 70 miles per hour.
They switched on their blue lights in an effort to slow down Chapman but he sped past and the officers were forced to use ‘tactical contact’ to force the car against the central reservation before finally bringing it to a halt.
During his interview after being arrested, Chapman said he had no recollection of driving the car.
Appearing at Worcester Crown Court, Chapman, of Aspley Hearth Lane, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and a license, failing to provide a breath test, driving while drunk, possession of cannabis, dangerous driving and taking a vehicle without consent.
He was jailed for 19 months, banned from driving for five years and nine months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
PC John Martin said: “It was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured. Chapman can count himself very lucky. He put the lives of other road users at risk and the prison sentence reflects the severity of what he did.”
Supt Dean Hatton from CMPG praised the officers on duty.
He said: “Officers acted quickly, professionally and with incredible bravery to protect the public from this reckless and criminal behaviour. They are a credit to policing.”
Visit www.stratfordobserver.co.uk to watch a video of the car being stopped by police.