Drink-driver drove wrong way down the M1 in Leicestershire for 20 miles
A drink-driver drove the wrong way down the M1 for 20 miles.
Jailing him, judge Michael Pert QC told Kingdom Mchikoma it was "nothing short of a miracle" no-one had been killed.
Mchikoma, a nurse, scattered oncoming traffic on his 70mph journey through Leicestershire in the early hours.
Drivers forced to swerve out of his path alerted police as he headed south on the northbound carriageway, from junction 24 of the M1, at Kegworth.
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Police on patrol caught up with him, signaling him to stop. The 35-year-old, who has previously been banned for drink-driving, pulled up a few times but then continued.
He came to a halt in the fast lane near Leicester Forest East services.
He was arrested on the central reservation at 4am on May 6, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Father-of-three Mchikoma, of Melville Road, Coventry, claimed he had several hours earlier drunk three cans of beer with a friend in his home town while watching football.
He set off early for work at a hospital in Mansfield, hoping to have a sleep there before his shift.
He got confused when he attempted to join the M1 at junction 24.
Mchikoma admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.
A breath test revealed he was over the limit.
He was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for three years.
Judge Pert told Mchikoma: "It's nothing short of a miracle that someone didn't die that night.
"To drive on the M1 in the face of oncoming traffic is an accident waiting to happen and those who were terrified of that prospect called the police.
"I'm told you had three cans of beer, but that's wholly inconsistent with a breath test after 4am, with a reading of one-and-a-half times over the limit.
"You say you got confused at junction 24. You stopped at the Leicester Forest East services, about 20 miles on.
"You told police you were unable to find the junctions to exit and the reason why you went the distance was in panic, but it seems more likely alcoholic confusion."
The court heard that three years ago Mchikoma was banned for drink-driving 10 days after being sentenced was caught driving while disqualified.
His licence had been restored by the time he drove the wrong way down the motorway.
Helen Johnson, mitigating, said: "He was frozen in fear and didn't know how to get out of the situation.
"He wasn't even going in the direction he wanted to go.
"He found himself in a situation where he was in real danger and putting others in danger. It's affected the whole family. His youngest child is just two months old."
He has since given up his nursing job, scrapped his car and found work at a business park, said Miss Johnson.