Heard the one about the woman who blindly followed her sat-nav through six countries? Well we have a new contender for idiot of the decade; a drunk lady who drove the wrong way down the motorway for seven miles.
Alcohol was the primary contributing factor in Stefanie Janikiewicz’s amazing tale; shed spent the day enjoying cocktails and wine on a train journey from London to Manchester before consuming more drinks during a meal with her sister later that evening.
The 35-year-old teacher from Thurstaston on the Wirral was said to be more than 2.5 times over the legal limit – 97mg of alcohol per 100ml – when police caught her crawling along in her Nissan Micra at walking pace on the hard shoulder of the M55.
Miss Janikiewicz told the police at the scene she thought she was travelling in the right direction to visit her ex-boyfriend in Liverpool but had, in fact, been heading completely the wrong way against the flow of traffic.
Her lawyer Virginia Hayton said one of the few memories her client could recall was that of an argument following the meal.
In a twist of irony, Miss Janikiewicz’s father is Dr Stefan Janikiewicz, an expert in alcohol and drug and abuse and an advocate of a minimum price per unit alcohol scheme designed tackle the UK’s binge-drinking culture. “The irony is not lost on me,” the Dr told the Daily Mail.
Although such a crime would normally lead to two years of hard time, Judge Anthony Russell QC gave her a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months because she was a popular teacher with a previously impeccable character. He also doled out a two-year driving disqualification and an extended retest and a fine of £350.
“My wife and I have eight children so I suppose statistically an awful situation would arise in some area,” Dr Janikiewicz added. “And it was in the field where I am meant to be an expert and I have not been able to reinforce that on my own children. But it has not changed the advice I give, it has only served to reinforce it.”
Miss Janikiewicz is said to be feeling “genuinely remorseful” and presumably a little bit stupid.