East Malling plumber Lewis Pollard jailed after swerving van across four lanes of M20 near A249
A drink-driver who twice swerved across all four lanes of a motorway and struck both the central reservation and hard shoulder barriers before his van flipped onto its side has been jailed for three months.
Lewis Pollard was still more than twice the legal limit almost four hours after the early-morning accident on the M20 on November 10 last year.
He told a lorry driver at the scene he had been to a stag-do the previous evening and had been drinking and taking drugs.
Driver Lewis Pollard swerved across all lanes of the London-bound M20
Maidstone Crown Court heard the 21-year-old also said he was arguing with his girlfriend on the phone, although the court heard it was via a hands-free kit.
Miraculously, no other vehicle was caught up in the accident just after 7.30am on the London-bound carriageway near the A249 junction.
Even before joining the motorway, Pollard mounted a kerb on Sittingbourne Road near where a jogger was running and tailgated a motorist.
The plumber then overtook another on the M20 slip road, driving straight into the outside lane.
Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told the court the Ford Transit swerved into the central reservation barrier, rebounded off and swerved back across the carriageway, striking the barrier at the side of the hard shoulder.
It then rebounded for a second time and ended up on its side straddling lanes three and four.
"The driver of a vehicle behind the van recalled it swerving from side to side, weaving erratically, before coming into collision with the central reservation," Mr Connolly added.
His speed was estimated to be between 70 and 80mph.
A blood sample taken at 11.15am gave an alcohol reading of 188mg in 100ml. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg.
Mr Connolly said traces of cannabis were also found, but were not of a quantity that would have affected driving.
Pollard, of Mill Street, East Malling, admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol at an earlier magistrates' court hearing and the case was committed to the crown court.
Judge Philip St John-Stevens at Maidstone Crown Court
Passing sentence, Judge Philip St.John-Stevens said despite Pollard's "impressive" references, there had to be immediate imprisonment.
"You are a young man who has learnt from this and is determined it should not happen again," the judge said.
"But I have to balance that with my public duty to pass a just and reasonable sentence.
"Young men who drive potentially lethal weapons when over twice the legal limit should expect a custodial sentence to mark the gravity of the offence."
Pollard was also banned from driving for 18 months.
Adrian Rohard, defending, told the court that at the time of the "out of character" accident, Pollard was going through personal difficulties, including his girlfriend's miscarriage and his father's cancer diagnosis.
He added that Pollard had since worked voluntarily with young offenders and shown genuine remorse.
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