Drink-driver avoids jail for 120mph police chase in Portsmouth

A FOOTBALL fan sparked a 120mph chase by speeding past an unmarked police car after boozing during an England match.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:29 pm
Sam Wallichs

Sam Wallichs had drunk about six pints while watching England’s Euro 2016 goalless draw with Slovakia on TV in Waterlooville on June 20.

The 26-year-old building surveyor flashed past a roads policing officer on the bottom of the A3M at 95mph before going on to Eastern Road, Portsmouth.

During the 1.20am pursuit on June 21, Wallichs veered on to the wrong side of the road, ran a red light and drove at oncoming traffic.

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When he finally pulled over and was arrested, a breath test revealed he was more than double the drink-drive limit.

Judge Ian Pearson gave him a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years with a three-year driving ban.

Christopher Hewertson, prosecuting, said: ‘On the slip road the officer followed towards a traffic lights controlled roundabout and it was at that point the officer activated blue lights to indicate for the driver to stop.

‘The officer’s perception was that the defendant reacted immediately by accelerating through the red traffic light on to the Eastern Road.’

Mr Hewertson added: ‘He reached in excess of 120mph along this 50mph section.’

As the chase continued, Wallichs reached about 100mph near the Harvester pub in Eastern Road.

When Wallichs approached the section of road that reduced to a 40mph limit he went on the opposite side of the carriageway, still going at more than 100mph, towards oncoming traffic. Wallichs then pulled over and waited for the officer.

At the roadside his breath was 88mg in 100 millilitres of breath but that increased to 94mg at the police station. The legal limit is 35mg.

Mr Hewertson added: ‘The defendant was interviewed in due course. He said he had been watching England – drank around five or six beers – in the European championship and then decided to drive to a friend’s from Waterlooville to Portsmouth.

‘He couldn’t further rationalise that as he then admitted his friend was in fact in Germany.’

Wallichs, of Florentine Way, Waterlooville, admitted dangerous driving and drink-driving at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing him at Portsmouth Crown Court, judge Pearson said: ‘Your driving put people at serious risk of death or serious injury.’

Christopher Prior, for Wallichs, said it was out of character and that he does not normally drink.

Wallichs, who has no previous convictions, has sold his BMW M235i sports car. Mr Prior said Wallichs is deeply remorseful and ashamed.

Wallichs must complete a drink-driver programme, 150 hours’ unpaid work, 10 days of rehabilitation activities and obey an electronically-tagged four-month 7pm to 7am curfew. He must pay £150 costs and complete an extended retest when his ban is complete.