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Man jailed after driving the wrong way along the M4 near Reading

A man has been jailed for 18 months after driving the wrong way down the M4 near Reading.

Lee Johnson, aged 44, of Colman Road, London, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment at Reading Crown Court on Friday (8 February).

Johnson drink-drove the wrong way down the westbound carriageway of the M4 at about 11.30pm on 15 December 2018.

Thames Valley Police arrested Johnson at the scene.

He was later charged with one count of dangerous driving, one count of driving whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit, and one count of driving without insurance.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the offences at a previous hearing.

Senior investigating officer, Sergeant Gaz Doughty of the Roads Policing Unit based at Three Mile Cross, said:

“I hope this case serves as a reminder to the public about the dangers of drink-driving, it is extremely lucky on this occasion that no-one was seriously hurt or killed.

“Such behaviour on our roads has far-reaching effects, not just for the impaired driver but for any innocent road users affected by their destructive decisions.

“The lives of individuals and their families can be torn apart through a combination of physical, psychological and legal consequences.

“There are many people I would like to thank in this case.

"Firstly, I would like to thank the members of the public who alerted us to this incident which had clear potential to result in a needless tragedy.

“I would also like to praise my team whose quick thinking and courageous actions prevented what would have been a devastating collision with other motorists.

“Finally, many thanks to Highways England for their assistance in this case.

“Roads policing officers were deployed and implemented a rolling road block from junction 11, heading towards Johnson’s vehicle, a red Citroen Berlingo van.

“Moments later, the vehicle was seen by the officers heading straight for them.

"Despite the obvious risks to themselves and potential for sustaining injuries, the officers made a quick decision to make deliberate contact with Johnson’s van to bring it to a halt and thereby prevent it getting past them and colliding head-on into other motorists.

“Johnson was arrested at the scene and when breathalysed was found to be almost four times over the prescribed drink drive limit, at a level of 120 micrograms of alcohol per 100 milliliters of breath.”


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