Fri, 10 Aug 2012
A lorry driver has been jailed for eight months and disqualified for three years after driving the wrong way down the M6 for three miles.
Pal Korbely, 50, of Hungary, admitted dangerous driving and driving a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol at Birmingham Crown Court.
Three lorry drivers formed a blockade to stop Korbely near to junction 10 of the M6, at Walsall, late on 7 July.
Judge Paul Farrer QC said the drivers would each receive a £250 reward.
He said: "They are to be commended for their fast thinking and brave actions which may have saved lives."
The court heard Korbely, who was driving without headlights, had drunk 51% proof home-made plum brandy before driving his lorry.
He was found to have 81mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
Police said he had joined the M6 via the wrong slip road from Hilton Park services at about 22:25 BST and was arrested 15 minutes later.
Several calls were made reporting the lorry. The Highways Agency turned on overhead signs along the motorway, indicating that lanes ahead were blocked, and guiding motorists away from the lorry's path.
Sgt Robin Barker, from the Central Motorway Police, said: "Korbely drove along one of the busiest stretches of the motorway network in Britain, into oncoming traffic, forcing dozens of innocent motorists to swerve out of the way.
"It is a miracle that his dangerous driving did not result in a serious accident, causing injury or even death."
Korbely was sentenced to eight months for dangerous driving and three months for drink driving, with the sentences to run concurrently.
He has already served 32 days of his sentence on remand.
To view the profile of Phil Bradley, please click here - prosecuting